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Massachusetts prosecutors sue ICE over courthouse arrests

A pair of Massachusetts district attorneys filed a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, asking that a federal judge place an injunction on the agency’s directive authorizing the arrests of undocumented immigrants at state courthouses.

In the lawsuit, the district attorneys for Middlesex and Suffolk counties allege that an ICE directive authorizing the civil arrests of undocumented immigrants at courthouses is in violation of long-standing practices — and is harming the judicial system.

“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 complaint reads.

The lawsuit claims that while Congress gave ICE the authority to carry out civil immigration arrests, it “retained traditional common-law limitations on that arrest power — including that such arrests cannot be made against parties and witnesses attending court on official business.”

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