Similar to actions taken in New York earlier in April 2019 prohibiting Federal immigration agents from detaining anyone in NY State Courts without a judicial warrant, on April 29, 2019, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), and the Chelsea Collaborative filed a groundbreaking lawsuit demanding an end to federal immigration enforcement in and around Massachusetts courthouses.
For the last two years, officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have frequented Massachusetts courthouses, surveilling, arresting and detaining immigrants. The degree to which these civil arrests are occurring in courthouses is unprecedented in American history and have severely undermined the administration of justice and access to judicial redress in the Commonwealth.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration from the court that ICE’s policy and practice of arresting people while coming to, attending, or returning from court is illegal. The suit also asks the court to immediately enjoin ICE from conducting any more courthouse arrests.