However, Ruehlman said, he thinks this argument is a “red herring.” He said even in cases that involve known illegal immigrants, ICE has worked with his court and prosecutors to allow them to testify.
Judge Charles Kubicki, the presiding and administrative judge for Common Pleas Court, said he was not aware that Ruehlman had contacted ICE, and said he’s not aware of any other judges doing it.
He said, that as far as he knows, there are no rules or laws that prevent judges from contacting immigration agents. He added there are no laws requiring judges to do it either.
Kubicki said, for him, issues of immigration are between the defendant and the federal government.
“I never call ICE,” he said. “I don’t know their number.”
He said if a person decides to plead guilty to a charge, the court is required to ask about their citizenship and inform those who aren’t citizens that their immigration status could be affected by a conviction.
Kubicki said even if a person were to admit to him then they were in the country illegally, he would feel no obligation to report them. However, he also said that he would not and has not objected to federal agents arresting someone in his court.
“It’s between him and the U.S. Marshals,” Kubicki said. “It’s the safest encounter for everyone involved.”