In New Lawsuit, Prosecutors Call ICE Courthouse Arrests Illegal
BOSTON (CN) – Two Massachusetts prosecutors brought a federal complaint Monday to halt U.S. immigration officers from patrolling state courthouses to round up people for deportation.
The practice began two years ago at the direction of President Donald Trump, upending years of legal tradition. Leading Monday’s lawsuit, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins and Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan say the effects of the policy have been dramatic across the state.
“Entire communities now view the Massachusetts courts as places where they cannot go, for any reason, greatly impeding access to justice and undermining the administration of justice in these communities,” the 48-page complaint states. “Criminal defendants refuse to appear, defaulting rather than risk civil arrest, detention, and removal by ICE. Witnesses do not appear for fear of arrest and deportation, undermining prosecutions, depriving criminal defendants of their right to present a defense, and interfering with the operation of civil litigation. And civil litigants seeking relief such as restraining orders against violent partners, unpaid wages from an unscrupulous employer, or remedies from landlords providing illegal housing are forced to tolerate domestic violence, illegal working conditions, and unsafe living conditions to avoid ICE civil arrest.”