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The Homeland Security Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, better known as ICE, is targeting sex workers for deportation in New York City, using a special court system known as “intervention court,” designed to protect actual victims of sex trafficking, according to an investigative report published in New York’s Village Voice newspaper this week.

The “Human Trafficking Intervention” court system was initiated in 2013 by New York State… Rather than prosecute sex workers who end up in the system, the courts were created to provide “a way out,” according to Judge Judy Harris Kluger, who was in charge of putting the system into place.

But according to Voice writer Melissa Gira Grant, “ICE has signaled that it will use the trafficking courts as a way to stalk immigrants.” In one widely publicized case earlier this year, Grant reports, ICE agents showed up in plainclothes attire at an intervention court in Queens, New York, planning to arrest a 29-year-old Chinese immigrant—who was saved from the agents when the judge informed Legal Aid attorneys that ICE was there.

The standard police practice of frequent arrests—a rate of about three per day for sex-work related offenses, according to New York State data cited by Grant—has increased the danger to immigrants of deportation by ICE agents lurking in the trafficking intervention courts.