US federal prosecutors accused a Massachusetts judge and court officer with plotting and obstruction, claiming they prevented an immigration and Customs Enforcement officer from holding an illegal immigrant at a 2018 court proceeding.
The move labels the latest skirmish over immigration between the administration of the US President Donald Trump and the local governments who have restricted his collapsing. The Democratic attorney general of the state called the accusations “ diplomatically motivated”.
The accusations aimed Massachusetts District Court Judge 51 years old Shelley Joseph and Massachusetts Trial Court personnel 56 years old Wesley MacGregor.
They aim at a 2018 April hearing in Newton District Court, outside Boston, where an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer considered to arrest unspecified suspected illegal immigrants from the Dominican republic confronting a drug accusation. They stated an assembling conversation between the judge and the lawyer of the defendant in which Joseph questions, “ICE is gonna get him?” and later says, “I’m not gonna allow them to come in here ”.
Then she organized for the suspect to be delivered through the rear door of the court while the ICE agent waited in the lobby of the courtroom for him to exit.
US Attorney of Massachusetts, as well as a Trump appointee, Andrew Pelling, said the case was not proposed to send a diplomatic message. He said, “we did not bring this case in response to the public debate over immigration enforcement ”.
State Attorney General Maura Healey declined that statement. Harley said in a statement, “Today’s indictment is a radical and politically-motivated attack on our state and the independence of our courts ”.
The representative of the court officer and the judge did not reply to requests for comment. The State Supreme Judicial Court suspended Joseph without paying but claimed its move “ in no way reflects any opinion on the merits of the pending criminal case.”