BY ALANNA DURKIN RICHER, BOSTON (AP) — Prosecutors and public defenders in Massachusetts are suing to block federal authorities from arresting people in and around courthouses for civil immigration violations.
The lawsuit filed Monday against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says district attorneys are unable to prosecute certain cases because victims, witnesses and defendants are too afraid to come to court.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said she has watched “serious criminal cases against individuals accused of violent, heinous crimes grind to a halt” because of arrests by immigration agents.
The lawsuit was filed days after federal prosecutors charged a judge and former court officer with obstruction of justice for allegedly helping a man wanted by immigration authorities escape a courthouse.
An email and a voicemail were left with ICE for comment.
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(Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins speaks during a news conference announcing a plan to file a federal lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Monday, April 29, 2019, in Boston, over its policy of arresting people at courthouses on civil immigration matters. The announcement comes days after federal prosecutors charged a judge and former court officer in Newton, Mass., with obstruction of justice for allegedly helping a man wanted by federal immigration authorities escape a courthouse. AP Photo: Alanna Durkin Richer)
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