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Judge Calls ICE Whenever He Suspects an Illegal Immigrant Inside His Courtroom

Courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A Hamilton County, Ohio judge who mostly presides over felony-level cases is under fire for reporting illegal immigrants who show up in his courtroom to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The criticism comes after Judge Robert Ruehlman admitted that he personally calls ICE to notify the agency whenever he suspects an illegal immigrant is inside his courtroom. 

(Via USA Today

Judge Robert Ruehlman told The Cincinnati Enquirer on Wednesday: "They're committing a crime by being here illegally, and then, if they're in front of me, they've allegedly committed a felony."

And how does he know someone is here illegally? If the person needs an interpreter, is accused of drug smuggling or has international connections, Ruehlman said he acts on his hunch. 

"I set a high bond and I call ICE," he said. "I'm batting a thousand. I haven't got one wrong yet."

Ruehlman said he calls ICE about a dozen times a year. He said he has a good relationship with the agency.

Critics may be calling it a hunch, but the judge is pointing to evidence indicating the defendants are illegal immigrants -- evidence like the need for an interpreter, international connections or their involvement in drug smuggling. The judge says he has a 100 percent success rate so rather than questioning whether he should be calling up ICE agents to report illegal immigrants, the question should be how can Judge Ruehlman teach other judges to spot illegal aliens inside their courtrooms. 

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