BOSTON (WHDH) - Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins and Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan filed a federal lawsuit Monday aimed at preventing ICE agents from arresting people on civil immigration matters at Bay State courthouses.
Rollins and Ryan were joined by prosecutors, public defenders, and other community groups in filing the lawsuit to “address U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s police and practice of arresting people at courthouses on civil immigration matters,” Ryan said Monday morning.
“ICE’s policy is undermining the work of the justice system as a whole,” she added. “Prosecutors are forced to abandon cases because many victims and witnesses are deterred from appearing in court. The policy also makes it more difficult to obtain defendants’ appearance in court.”
The lawsuit was announced at a news conference at Goodwin Proctor on Northern Avenue in Boston.
“This suit marks a historic moment. I do not take this action lightly, but standing by silently as immigration officials under the explicit direction of the President of the United States strip our justice system of its ability to function simply is not an option,” Rollins said.
Along with Rollins and Ryan, Committee for Public Counsel Services Director Wendy Wayne, Chelsea Collaborative Executive Director Gladys Vega, and Lawyers for Civil Rights Executive Director Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal spoke at the conference.
The announcement of the suit comes less than a week after a Newton judge was indicted and suspended for allegedly conspiring with a court officer to let a twice-deported drug suspect evade an ICE officer by letting them escape out the back door of a courthouse in 2018.
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