PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The chief justice of Rhode Island’s highest court says courthouses should be accessible to all people after federal immigration officials arrested a Syrian man outside one in Providence earlier this month.

The Providence Journal reports ( ) state Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Suttell addressed the arrest of Abulkhalek Darwich on Friday at the Rhode Island Bar Association.

A spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Darwich was taken into custody June 1 for overstaying his guest visa by 19 years.

Suttell says that if immigrants are afraid to come to court out of fear of being detained, “our mission is compromised.”

Suttell says The National Center of State Courts and Conference of Chief Justices are working with Homeland Security representatives and the ICE’s acting director to establish protocols.

Information from: The Providence Journal,