Two views of the pause in ICE courthouse arrests

Less than two weeks ago, US District Court Judge Indira Talwani took the unprecedented step of approving a temporary injunction blocking US Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents from making civil arrests of undocumented immigrants in and around Massachusetts courthouses.

During a contentious discussion on the Codcast, Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies and immigration attorney Matt Cameron broke down the history behind courthouse arrests in Massachusetts and what Talwani’s decision could mean.

The temporary injunction came after a lawsuit was filed against ICE in late April by district attorneys Marian Ryan and Rachael Rollins along with advocates, who have accused ICE of commandeering the state courts for immigration purposes. Talwani’s decision puts a hold on the implementation of an ICE directive that allows enforcement in courthouses.

Vaughan argued that ICE “doesn’t want to make arrests in courthouses.” She said the practice was occurring because Massachusetts sanctuary city policies restrict ICE officials from detaining undocumented immigrants in jails. She said arresting immigrants at their homes is unsafe for the public, ICE officers, and even the immigrant families.

Vaughan is the director of policy studies at the Washington, DC-based Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan research institute that examines the economic, security, and social impact of immigration. The organization challenged the Obama administration immigration enforcement policies and often lauds President Trump’s approach.

Cameron is the managing partner of Cameron Law Offices and the director of Golden Stairs Immigration Center, an East Boston non-profit immigration legal service provider. He also teaches immigration policy at Northeastern University.

Cameron said his concern with ICE is less about arresting people in courthouses and more about the arrests interfering with prosecutors and local prosecutions.

“You’ve deported someone in the middle of their case. You’re leaving them forever with an open questionmark,” Cameron said. “You’re leaving a victim without justice, you’re leaving the Commonwealth without a case.”

Vaughan said ICE has been singled out not only by the temporary injunction, but also by last year’s state Supreme Judicial Court decision — Lunn. v Commonwealth, which found that local law enforcement officials do not have the authority, under state law, to detain a person based solely on a request (called a detainer) from federal authorities.

“If an attorney or prosecutor wants ICE to wait until a case is finished, all they have to do is file a writ in court, and ICE will not deport people out from under cases here in the Commonwealth, especially the criminal cases,” Vaughan said.

Cameron, who has had five clients detained at courthouses in his presence, said Vaughan’s claim was untrue. He said people are often detained in the middle of their cases.

There were very few points that the two could agree upon.

Vaughan said the lawsuit arose out of a “political difference of opinion,” and done for “political reasons.” Cameron said state prosecutors should not have to notify the federal government that they want to continue prosecutions. “It’s a slap in the face to state law enforcement,” he said.

While Vaughan said no specific victims have spoken publicly about being arrested at courthouses, Cameron referred her to the original complaint by plaintiffs, which includes specific dates and locations (but no names) where arrests occurred.

–SARAH BETANCOURT

 

 

BEACON HILL

Old friends Sal DiMasi and Bill Galvin are now in a face-off over DiMasi’s bid to become a lobbyist. (CommonWealth)

Attorney Margaret Monsell says Gov. Charlie Baker is undermining a solitary confinement initiative passed by the Legislature. (CommonWealth)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Inconsistency within city agencies and a desire by developers to market properties in the pricier neighborhoods are blurring the boundaries between the South End and Roxbury, and Boston City Councilor Kim Janey is calling out labeling that she says is “rooted in racism.” (WBUR)

Brockton residents pay tribute to Mayor Bill Carpenter, who died unexpectedly last Wednesday. One man recounted Carpenter’s involvement with his own recovery from opioids. (Brockton Enterprise)

ELECTIONS

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is raising more campaign cash than Gov. Charlie Baker in 2019. (Associated Press)

Joe Biden told a mostly black audience in South Carolina that he was wrong and he regrets his prior comments about comity with segregationists, which became fodder for a big dust-up between Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris on the debate stage. (Associated Press)

Salem City Councilor Lisa Peterson has launched a race for the seat held by Congressman Seth Moulton, a fellow Democrat, who is running for president. (WBUR)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

State employment records show that online retail giant Amazon has created nearly twice the number of jobs it promised when it opened a distribution center in Fall River in 2017. (Standard Times) 

Deutsche Bank is cutting 18,000 jobs as part of a corporate overhaul. (New York Times)

Quincy city officials and Ermont Inc. executives will host a public hearing Wednesday where the details of a potential license to sell recreational marijuana will be discussed. (Patriot Ledger)

Boston’s plan to achieve “zero waste” by 2050 has drawn plenty of attention for its flashy prospects. What’s been largely overlooked, however, is a policy shift decades in the making that will mean more money for low-wage recycling workers. (DigBoston) 

EDUCATION

Pam Eddinger of Bunker Hill Community College, Valerie Roberson of Roxbury Community College, and their two board chairs set the record straight on community college graduation rates. (CommonWealth)

Ramon S. Torrecilha, the president of Westfield State University, says schools need to find a way to blend liberal arts training with real-life work experience. (CommonWealth)

TRANSPORTATION

The MBTA’s former safety official, Ron Nickle, filed a federal complaint in May alleging that he was fired because he called attention to safety hazards and urged authority officials to make more information about mishaps public. (Boston Globe)

Red Line ridership was off 10 percent the week of the derailment, and about 6 percent the following week. (CommonWealth)

ICYMI: Video pyrotechnics preceded derailment of the Red Line train on June 11. (CommonWealth)

As the state’s review continues of the Registry’s handling of out-of-state violations by Massachusetts drivers, more licenses are suspended. (MassLive)

More than 3,000 motorcyclists from all over the country participated in a 90-mile ride Saturday from Laconia, New Hampshire, to the site in Randolph where a truck driven by Volodymyr Zhukovskyy killed seven bikers last month. (Associated Press)

With four vehicles and a lot of fanfare, Newton in Motion began offering rides to Newton residents over the age of 60 last month with prices ranging from 50 cents to $5. (WGBH)

The interchange between Route 128 and Interstate 95 in Peabody will be closed for an indeterminate amount of time after an asphalt truck rolled over Sunday afternoon. (Salem News)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Wellfleet residents are continuing to press for an independent appraisal of tidal flats off Indian Neck that voters in April agreed to purchase. (Cape Cod Times)

Toxic algae blooms have led health officials to temporarily close Gloucester to shellfish harvesters, but officials documented 16 violations of the ban in one week – including an incident at Wingaersheek Beach where a deputy shellfish constable found seven men with 70 pounds of surf clams in a cooler. (Gloucester Daily Times)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The Boston Globe goes deep analyzing Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins’ approach on prosecuting cases.

After state lawmakers gave the public more opportunities to hide their criminal histories from employers and others, more than 4,000 petitions have poured in since October to seal adult and juvenile criminal records since October. (Eagle-Tribune)

Former lieutenant governor Tim Murray was among a group of restaurant patrons who helped restrain a man who stabbed a woman. (MassLive)

The FBI and ICE apparently routinely use facial recognition technology to search through state databases of driver’s licenses. (Washington Post)

MEDIA

Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung interviews new CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell.

3,000 people in the news business have been laid off or offered buyouts during the first five months of the year. (Bloomberg)