Two Massachusetts District Attorneys want to keep immigration enforcement officers out of Massachusetts courtrooms.
The district attorneys for Middlesex and Suffolk Counties said they plan to sue ICE for using court appearances as an opportunity to arrest immigrants.
Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins and Middlesex County DA Marian Ryan plan to file their lawsuit Monday, arguing that arresting people in courthouses makes it harder to hold defendants accountable.
The prosecutors said many cases are overturned because witnesses, victims or defendants are too afraid to come to court.
The debate over ICE’s role in the courtroom dates back to 2018 when Judge Shelley Joseph allegedly helped a man escape ICE custody at the courthouse in Newton.
Governor Baker didn’t talk about the cases specifically, but he did discuss the state’s role in enforcing federal immigration policy.
“The fact that its sort of drifted here into the courthouses is the function of the fact that we don’t have a detainer policy in Massachusetts, statutorily, I think we should,” Governor Baker said.
During an interview with the Boston Herald Radio, President Trump also got involved in the debate, saying these prosecutors “are people that probably don’t mind crime.”
This is the first time a district attorney has taken ICE to court over this practice, and if it is successful, other states could follow suit.