PHILADELPHIA — The sheriff of Philadelphia has
told federal Homeland Security authorities that immigration agents must
identify themselves to sheriff's deputies if they are on-duty in
courtrooms in the city.
Sheriff Jewell Williams cited a report in
The Philadelphia Inquirer that plainclothes Immigration and Customs
Enforcement agents were in courtrooms to apprehend people illegally in
The Defender Association was quoted as saying at least three people
had been arrested this year on their way into or out of the city's
Criminal Justice Center.
Williams said agents could easily and
confidentially disclose their presence or intentions, otherwise an agent
"may be perceived as an intruder trying to disrupt or intimidate
participants in a proceeding, in which case our deputies would
Department of Homeland Security representatives didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.