De­spite ac­tivist heat, ICE con­tin­ues fight against crime

Boston Herald - - HERALD OPINION -

De­spite re­sis­tance from pro­gres­sive ac­tivists, law en­force­ment must pro­tect Amer­i­cans from crim­i­nal il­le­gal im­mi­grants. To that mea­sure we ap­plaud the men and women of Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment who have de­tained more than 50 il­le­gal im­mi­grants in raids this week, tar­get­ing sus­pected drug deal­ers — many of whom had been freed by lo­cal judges or jails, as the Her­ald re­ported.

The crack­down hap­pened in East Bos­ton, Dorch­ester, Lawrence, the Worces­ter area, Rhode Is­land, New Hamp­shire and Con­necti­cut, ac­cord­ing to law en­force­ment. The fo­cus was to strike a blow against the opi­oid epi­demic in the re­gion by tar­get­ing fen­tanyl, heroin and co­caine deal­ers and oth­ers in the pe­riph­ery. The in­for­ma­tion we have on those ap­pre­hended is jar­ring. The de­tainees in­clude three il­le­gal im­mi­grants from Brazil who are wanted there for mur­der, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial. This week’s raids in­cluded some with drug con­vic­tions or pend­ing drug cases, with many el­i­gi­ble for de­por­ta­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, in many cases, the il­le­gal im­mi­grant drug sus­pects had been al­lowed to go free by lo­cal judges and jails de­spite ac­tive ICE de­tain­ers. It is no sur­prise that in the Trump era so many ac­tivists in the le­gal sys­tem and po­lit­i­cal arena have mo­bi­lized and taken ex­tra­or­di­nary steps to use their po­si­tions to push back at the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mas­sachusetts Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren has called for the abol­ish­ment of ICE and many mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have de­clared them­selves sanc­tu­ary cities. We must con­demn this kind of reck­less ac­tivism on be­half of elected lead­ers and judges who have ir­re­spon­si­bly gone rogue in their roles, to the detri­ment to U.S. ci­ti­zens. Just this week Gov. Char­lie Baker called for District Court Judge Shel­ley Joseph to step aside from the bench while a fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion looks into whether she helped a man slip away from ICE whom she had rea­son to be­lieve was in the coun­try il­le­gally.

Ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Jus­tice, out of the 183,058 in­mates in Bu­reau of Pris­ons cus­tody, 38,132 (21 per­cent) were re­ported as known or sus­pected aliens. In Texas alone, 251,000 crim­i­nal aliens have been booked into lo­cal jails be­tween June 1, 2011 and April 30, 2018. Of the 663,000 crim­i­nal of­fenses they were charged with, 1,351 were homi­cides and 7,156 were sex­ual as­saults.

In Mas­sachusetts, Bos­ton, Cam­bridge, Somerville, Lawrence, New­ton, Northamp­ton and Amherst are all con­sid­ered sanc­tu­ary cities, where im­mi­gra­tion de­tain­ers have been ig­nored. Bos­ton’s Trust Act — a de facto sanc­tu­ary city pol­icy — for­bids po­lice from par­tic­i­pat­ing in im­mi­gra­tion busts un­less ICE has a crim­i­nal war­rant.

Yes­ter­day, the head of the Bos­ton-area ICE of­fice sounded off on the is­sue:

“While some, ap­par­ently even within our courts sys­tem, seem not to grasp the threat posed when crim­i­nal il­le­gal aliens are al­lowed to evade im­mi­gra­tion law, the men and women of ICE, through ef­forts like the one we have com­pleted this week, re­main com­mit­ted to ap­pre­hend­ing those dan­ger­ous crim­i­nal aliens who threaten our com­mu­ni­ties,” said Todd M. Lyons, act­ing field of­fice di­rec­tor, ICE En­force­ment and Re­moval Op­er­a­tions, Bos­ton.

Thank good­ness those in ICE and law en­force­ment in gen­eral have the re­solve to con­cen­trate on do­ing their jobs, above the po­lit­i­cal fray and against the head­winds of the ef­forts of ac­tivist judges and may­ors.

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