In recent months federal immigration agents have been positioning themselves in and around state, local, and juvenile courthouses in Massachusetts to arrest unauthorized immigrants who face even minor criminal charges, defense lawyers and prosecutors say.
In April alone, more than 40 people were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who approached them on courthouse steps, as they got out of their cars, and inside courtrooms, according to the Committee for Public Counsel Services, which oversees the state’s 500 public defenders. There has been such an increase that state court officials recently reached out to ICE to talk about the arrests.
The unusually aggressive tactics are part of a sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigrants by the Trump administration, which has expanded who can be targeted for deportation. In the first two months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the number of federal arrests in Boston of unauthorized immigrants more than doubled to 444 compared with the same time period last year under President Barack Obama. [MORE]