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Middlesex DA Wins Injunction In ICE Lawsuit

Jun 21, 2019 11:07AM ● By Lisa Redmond

DA Marian Ryan

BOSTON – In the wake of a potential precedent-setting ruling, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins today will detail the impact of Thursday’s decision by a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction barring federal authorities from arresting people at Massachusetts courthouses for civil immigration violations while a larger lawsuit is pending.
 In her decision, U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani ordered ICE to stop “civilly arresting parties, witnesses, and others attending Massachusetts courthouses on official business while they are going to, attending, or leaving the courthouse.”
 The preliminary injunction was sought as part of a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April by public defenders, Ryan and Rollins. The lawsuit alleges ICE is in essentially impeding law enforcement by scaring victims and defendants away from court and making it harder for prosecutors to hold people accountable.
 In response to the decision, Ryan said in a statement that “the federal court has recognized the irreparable harm being caused by ICE’s disruptive policy of using our courthouses to conduct civil arrests.’’
 Rollins stated the decision, “Ensures that every victim, witness, and defendant who walks into a Massachusetts courthouse does so with the confidence that they have access to the equal protection of the law, and that they can exercise their rights without risk of civil arrest charges in public areas.”
 John Mohan, a spokesman for ICE, told WBUR the agency "respects the ruling of the court" and is reviewing the decision. Talwani's order comes at a time when Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has charged Newton District Court Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and now-retired Trial Court Officer Wesley MacGregor with obstruction of justice for allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant slip out the back door of the courthouse to evade an ICE detainer last year.
That case is pending.
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