Group Says DA’s Immigration Lawsuit Could Lead To Armed Conflict
The brief was filed in a case aimed at banning ICE officers from courthouses brought by two Massachusetts District Attorneys last month.
By Dave Copeland, Patch Staff | May 21, 2019 10:25 am ET
WOBURN, MA — An anti-immigration group warned of armed conflicts between federal and state law enforcement officers if arrests by immigration officers at courthouse are banned. The Federation for American Immigration Reform made its claim in an amicus brief filed Friday in a lawsuit filed by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins last month. The DA’s filed their lawsuit in federal court in an attempt to ban U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from local courthouses.
FAIR has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, painted a scenario in its brief where court officers would be compelled to “harbor illegal aliens” while federal immigration officers and state law enforcement officers were “trying to place the other under arrest.” The brief also argues that the lawsuit is an attempt by the state to usurp federal law enforcement authority.
“Because, in light of the supremacy of federal law, Massachusetts cannot block ICE from making arrests in courthouses, ICE is fully within its rights under the supremacy clause when it makes such arrests,” the brief said.
Previously on Patch: Ban ICE From Local Courthouses: Massachusetts Lawsuit
Ryan and Rollins called their lawsuit “unprecedented” when they filed it last month. Along with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the DAs argue ICE’s practice of arresting people at courthouses on immigration matters has hampered their efforts to prosecute cases, as victims and witnesses are often reluctant to go to court. The lawsuit came a week after state Judge Shelley Joseph was accused of helping an inmate escape ICE agents by allowing him to sneak out a back door in her court. The DA’s said the timing was coincidental.
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