According to the City of Denver officials, ICE (Immigration and Customs
Enforcement) agents have been increasingly present in the Colorado courthouses,
waiting to detain anyone suspected or accused of a crime who may be an
undocumented immigrant. Such presence comes as a direct result of an executive
order signed by President Trump to target undocumented immigrants for
Specifically, ICE agents have been waiting for individuals involved in
domestic violence cases with intent to detain and deport anyone involved
in the matter, including the victims of domestic violence. As one can
imagine, this causes fear and mistrust in the legal system to the victim,
who is already experiencing fear from the perpetrator, to come to court
and testify. Denver City attorney Kristin Bronson told Denver 7 News that
they are forced to dismiss a number of domestic violence cases because
the victim is simply too scared of deportation to come to court and testify.
Also, by being forced to dismiss the cases due to victim’s fear
of deportation, the prosecutors are forced to put these violent individuals
back on the streets.
This not only re-victimizes the individual who is already in fear for her
or his safety from domestic violence, but also makes them fearful to follow
through per the avenues of our justice system – which may allow
the perpetrator to further inflict pain on them or on someone else. Victims
are known to be led by fear to begin with when deciding whether to report
the crime or not, but now, with ICE waiting for them at the courthouses,
they are even less likely to report the crime, seek help from the law
enforcement and protect themselves and their children.
Attorney Hans Meyer explained to the Denver 7 News that the ICE agents
are dressed in plain clothes, not easily detectable and do not posses
warrants. ICE, on the other hand, told the News that the agents are in
fact present at the courthouses, but that they have every right to be
there and that they had the proper documentation to make arrests.
This could also affect divorce and child custody issues in Colorado. If
an individual is too scared to seek law enforcement’s and/or the
court’s help to obtain a divorce or protect their children from
possible dangerous situations or to obtain custody orders that are in
the best interest of the child, it could create an era of more abuse,
more unstable marriages and children growing up in a home that otherwise
would not be acceptable to the parent had he or she not been scared to
If you need assistance with a family law issue, please
contact the domestic team at Feldmann Nagel, LLC.