AP NEWS

ICE asks federal judge to toss courthouse arrests lawsuit

December 17, 2019 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Immigration officials defended the agency’s policy to make arrests at state courthouses in a motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked a federal judge on Friday to toss a lawsuit by Massachusetts prosecutors that argued the practice of courthouse arrests is making it harder for them to hold defendants accountable and get justice for victims.

“Congress has spoken completely to ICE’s arrest authority and provided no limitations on courthouse arrests,” the motion stated.

District Attorneys Marian Ryan and Rachael Rollins filed the lawsuit in April and were joined by public defenders and others that some cases are grinding to a halt because witnesses, victims or defendants are too afraid to come to courts staked out by immigration agents.

Attorneys for the federal agency also alleged that the Suffolk County prosecutors lack the proper standing to file the lawsuit since they are not illegal immigrants or subjects of the agency’s civil arrests, the Boston Herald reported.

Immigration officials were temporarily banned from making courthouse arrests after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in favor of the prosecutors in June. The appeal of that ruling is still pending in U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals.

The motion filed last week also outlined Ryan and Rollins″ lawsuit does not specifically identify a single person who is subject to the rule.

There will be a status conference for the case in January.