In an open middle finger to federal immigration law, U.S. citizens and legal immigrants, the highest appellate court in Massachusetts ruled Monday that court officers can't temporarily detain criminal aliens for immigration violations once they’ve served their time in jail.
According to the Boston Globe, court officers in the Bay State won’t be allowed to detain criminal aliens who’ve been placed under a 48-hour immigration detainer by federal authorities for immigration violations – meaning that once the person has served their time or been granted early parole, he or she free to head on their merry way, without being held long enough for immigration officials to take them into custody for being in the country illegally.
The Globe reports:
Massachusetts court officers will no longer honor federal immigration agents’ requests to hold people for up to 48 hours after their criminal cases are over, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday.
The court said that keeping people in custody for civil immigration matters amounts to an arrest, and there is nothing on the Massachusetts law books or in the common law in the state that gives court officers — who have arrest powers in courthouses — authority to deny people their freedom because of such infractions.
Reuters reports that the court’s ruling against the legality of federal immigration detainers is the first of its kind to apply to an entire state.
The ruling does not mean that federal immigration officials can’t take custody of an alien at the time he or she is physically released from state or local custody. However, a lack of enough ICE officers, along with the fact that a person may be granted early release without ICE being notified, makes taking custody of an illegal alien very difficult without ICE being given the requested 48-hour heads up.
Of course, the American Civil Liberties Union (which is neither “civil” nor very “American”) praised the court’s decision to release dangerous criminal aliens back into American communities to inflict more damage and victimize more law-abiding residents.
"At a time when the Trump administration is pushing aggressive and discriminatory immigration enforcement policies, Massachusetts is leading nationwide efforts by limiting how state and local law enforcement assist," the group's executive director, Carol Rose, said in a statement.