Former Judges Demand ICE Stay Away from Courthouses (And Apologies to Dr. Seuss)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) goes to greater lengths than any other law enforcement agency to be sensitive in how it carries out its duties. The agency refrains from arresting illegal aliens near schools, houses of worship, and other locations in deference to those institutions and what they stand for.

In recent years, advocates for illegal aliens have sought to bar ICE from carrying out enforcement activities in courthouse – you know, the sort of places where criminals show up after they’ve been arrested for committing crimes. And, since in many jurisdictions around the country, local governments refuse to honor ICE requests to hold deportable criminals they’ve arrested for other offenses, ICE has been forced to arrest them as they come out of court.

Some judges – folks in black robes who have sworn to honor and uphold laws – have gone so far as to aid and abet criminal aliens in their efforts to evade ICE officers waiting to take them into custody. Elsewhere, activist prosecutors have chosen to drop charges against defendants rather than risk having them picked up by ICE when they show up in court.

And, on Dec. 12, a group of 70 former state and federal judges sent a letter to Acting ICE Director Ron Vitiello asking him to further constrain ICE’s activities out of concern for their impact on “the administration of justice and public safety.” We are still waiting for the 70 former jurists to pen a letter to sanctuary jurisdictions asking them to honor ICE detainer requests so that ICE does not need to arrest people at courthouses. We expect it will be a long wait.

Absurdity, of course, is the hallmark of our era. So, 70 judges objecting to a law enforcement agency enforcing laws in public places dedicated to ensuring that law are enforced should come as no surprise. When it came to addressing social absurdities, no one did it better than the late Theodore Geisel. And so, with apologies to Dr. Seuss and those who may love Green Eggs and Ham, we offer this response in verse:

We are former state and federal jurists

When it comes to illegal aliens we are purists

We treat them as special guests and welcome tourists


Do not arrest them near a school

Do not arrest them in a pool

Do not arrest them at all we say, that simply is not cool


Do not arrest them at a church

Do not arrest them when they perch

Do not arrest them at all we say, because that’ll leave them in a lurch


Can we arrest them in a hall?

Can we arrest them at the mall?

Can we arrest them at a ball?


No we say, you cannot arrest them in a hall

You cannot arrest them at the mall

You cannot arrest them at a ball

We do not like you, ICE

We do not think you’re very nice

You cannot arrest them at all


Can we arrest them at the courthouse?

Can we arrest them if they’ve really been a louse?

Can we arrest them if they’ve done something really bad?

Can we arrest them if they’ve made someone really sad?

Can we arrest them when they’ve been sprung from jail?

Or if they’ve just been released on bail?


No we say, you cannot arrest them at the courthouse

Because you, not they, are the louse

Not even if they’ve been really bad

Because if you do, we’ll be really mad

Just let them go on their way

You cannot arrest them any day


We do not like our immigration laws, you see

So, even if they’ve been on a crime spree

We say you must let them go free

Former state and local judges, are we

So leave the illegal aliens alone, we decree

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    The old saying is with friends like these who needs enemies. These people who are supposedly under obligation to enforce the laws would rather law enforcement agents put themselves in danger by going out to pick up a criminal on the streets when they could be safely taken into custody in a courthouse or jail. Any judge or other person who assists in helping anyone escape solely to avoid law enforcement should themselves be charged with a crime. Aiding and abetting sounds good. The problem is that as a society we have become too willing to pander to lawlessness.

    • avatar

      Hi Leland How Are You Doing?

      I sure enjoy your blogs 😉

      I’m retired now and work as a Trump Grass Roots supporter, Autistic Advocate and Bio-engineer volunteer for a pick line company board [to reduce Nurse and Doctor labor and make medicine practice safer/cheaper too]….I especially encourage closed border populist folks like us to get on the RNC “poll” data input. Trump needs all our help BTW. America outsourced a lion’s share of American bio-engineering too.

      I had old friends when I was younger that were my friends because I did all the driving to see them…IOWs I paid them to be my friends….LOL….haven’t socialized with those folks in years. Phony friends.

  2. avatar

    Love it.

    US citizens can be arrested in a court house if they have a warrant out for them They also get a bench warrant issued for them if they dont show up to court. How come illegals are treated differently?