Protesters: ICE shouldn't target courthouses

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) &mdah; Community leaders from the Kern Coalition for Citizenship and the American Civil Liberties Union hosted a protest Friday outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building on Truxtun Avenue.

Protesters said ICE agents are targeting undocumented immigrants in courthouses, and it's not fair.

Michael Kaufman is an attorney with the ACLU. He said it's a serious problem.

"What ICE is doing is creating a culture of fear," said Kaufman.

"Why do we want to deter a domestic violence victim to come to the courthouse to get a restraining order?" asked Kaufman, "why do we want to deter victims or witnesses to come to courthouses to play their role in supporting the prosecution in serious cases?"

He said courthouses should be a safe place for people to come to pay their civic duties.

Protesters are hoping ICE stops these sweeps, not just in Bakersfield, but across the country.

Eyewitness News tried contracting ICE agents several times to confirm these sweeps. As of publication, they had not commented.