MA prosecutors sue to keep ICE out of courthouses

The government in Massachusetts has a message for all of the illegal aliens out there. We’ve got your backs, folks.

Some state prosecutors in the Bay State have filed a lawsuit, asking a federal judge to bar ICE from the state’s courtrooms. Apparently, they feel that the job of law enforcement shouldn’t include enforcing the law in the buildings that are designated as the places where the law plays out. Can they get a judge to go along with the concept of “common law” that says you should ignore criminals while they are in a courthouse? Sadly, stranger things have happened. (Washington Times)

Several Massachusetts district attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Monday demanding a judge order ICE to stop enforcing the law at state courthouses, saying too many people are refusing to be witnesses or show up for cases because they fear they’ll be deported.

Prosecutors in Middlesex and Suffolk counties said there’s long been a “common law” privilege protecting anyone doing official business at a courthouse, and they said arresting people — either witnesses, bystanders or criminals — breaks that.

“Entire communities now view the Massachusetts courts as places where they cannot go, for any reason, greatly impeding access to justice and undermining the administration of justice in these communities,” the prosecutors said in their complaint.

Both the timing and location of this action are noteworthy. Keep in mind that this is the same state where a judge was just arrested last week on charges of helping illegal immigrants slip out the back door of the courthouse when ICE came looking for them. That action enraged liberals across the country. (Have you ever noticed how progressives are really excited to talk about obstruction of justice until it comes to a case like this?)

Of course, the state government is struggling to find a solution to a problem they caused themselves. The places where ICE tends to show up in courthouses to make arrests are typically the same areas where state and municipal governments forbid law enforcement from cooperating with immigration enforcement officials. If you can’t pick up the illegal aliens when they show up in jail, that means you have to go hunt them down out in the community, which is far more difficult and, at times, dangerous.

The next safest place to pick up an illegal alien aside from jail is a courthouse. Pretty much all courthouses have metal detectors and security checkpoints these days, so they’re unlikely to be armed. And there are usually plenty of police officers around to lend a hand if things get out of control. If you don’t want ICE showing up in courtrooms, start honoring their detainers and let them do their job when you’ve got the suspects in jail on some other charge. It’s mostly just the ones with criminal records that they’re after anyway, so it should be a lot easier that way.

I’ll be interested to see how this one plays out in the courts. The prosecutors are, as I mentioned above, relying on “common law” here. But what they’re really saying is that there are places in our country where we don’t enforce the law, and one example is found in our courthouses. I have to wonder… if a known and wanted bank robber, rapist or child abductor showed up for jury duty, would the prosecutors try to forbid the police from arresting them? Food for thought.