Feds Indict Sanctuary City Judge for Helping Illegal Alien Escape Arrest

Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, speaks during a March new
Steven Senne / AP

The federal government is charging a Massachusetts judge and a courtroom officer with obstruction of justice after the pair allegedly helped a twice-deported illegal alien escape out the back door while an immigration enforcement officer was kept outside the front door.

District Court Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and Trial Court Officer Wesley MacGregor face severe penalties: “charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of a federal proceeding – aiding and abetting provide for sentences of no greater than 20 and five years in prison, respectively; five and three years of supervised release, respectively; and a fine of $250,000,” said a press statement from the Department of Justice.

The illegal alien was arrested in March 2018 for narcotics possession. An agent from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was sent to the courthouse to arrest and deport the alien, who “had twice been deported from the United States – in 2003 and 2007, and … a federal order had been issued prohibiting the defendant from entering the U.S. until 2027,” the statement said, adding:

The Officer announced his presence to Courthouse personnel, including Joseph, upon arrival. Prior to the afternoon session, the courtroom clerk – at Joseph’s direction – allegedly instructed the ICE Officer to leave the courtroom and wait outside in the lobby, stating that in the event that the defendant was released, it would be through the courtroom and into the lobby.

At 2:48 p.m. the case was called and the proceedings were captured on the courtroom’s audio recorder, as prescribed under the rules for all State District Courts. The audio recording captured Joseph, the defense attorney and the ADA speaking at side bar about the defendant and the ICE detainer. Joseph then allegedly ordered the courtroom clerk to “go off the record for a moment.” For the next 52 seconds, the courtroom audio recorder was turned off, in violation of the District Court rules. At 2:51 p.m., the recorder was turned back on, and Joseph indicated her intent to release the defendant. According to the charging documents, the defense attorney asked to speak with the defendant downstairs and Joseph responded, “That’s fine. Of course.” When reminded by the clerk that an ICE Officer was in the courthouse, Joseph stated, “That’s fine. I’m not gonna allow them to come in here. But he’s been released on this.” Immediately following the proceeding, MacGregor allegedly escorted the defendant, his attorney and an interpreter downstairs to the lockup and used his security access card to open the rear sally-port exit and release the defendant at 3:01 p.m.

In February 2017, city councilors in Newton, Mass., voted to declare their jurisdiction a sanctuary city. According to BCHeights.com:

Residents packed the doors leading into Newton City Hall prior to the City Council meeting on Tuesday night. Throngs of people lined the steps and sidewalks, including members of the Jewish Labor Committee and former Newton Mayor David B. Cohen. Some wrapped themselves in Pride flags, with “PEACE” stamped across the rainbow banners. Others held signs, in both English and Spanish, declaring “We are All Immigrants,” “Newton Welcomes Immigrants,” “Welcoming city = safety for everyone,” and “Immigrants are what make America great.”

According to the reports docket for this meeting, the goal of this amendment to the Welcoming City Ordinance is reaffirming Newton’s commitment to fair treatment for all, and to codify current community policing practices. The docket stressed that one of the city’s most important objectives is to “enhance relationships with all residents and make all residents, workers and visitors feel safe and secure regardless of their immigration status.”

Another goal of the amendment is to ensure that “no city official will request or seek information regarding a person’s immigration status,” and that “no city official will report to, respond to or cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement with regard to status of any persons who has contact with a city official or employee except in the case where that person has been convicted of a felony, is on a terrorist watch list, poses a serious substantive threat to public safety, or is compelled to by operation of law except as required by law.”

The arrest is a hard-nosed move by President Donald Trump against sanctuary cities and states. These anti-enforcement jurisdictions are proliferating as progressives and business interests ally to protect their supply of cheap labor, which helps to minimize wage increases in Trump’s Hire American economy.

“This case is about the rule of law,” said United States Attorney Andrew Lelling in the press statement:

We cannot pick and choose the federal laws we follow, or use our personal views to justify violating the law. Everyone in the justice system – not just judges, but law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and defense counsel – should be held to a higher standard. The people of Massachusetts expect that, just like they expect judges to be fair, impartial and to follow the law themselves.

Nationwide, roughly one million illegals have been ordered home by judges but have not yet been detained and deported. Many of those illegals are living in communities populated by the nation’s illegal immigrants, whose numbers range from 11 million to 22 million.

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants, refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar guest workers in addition to approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers, and also tolerates about eight million illegal workers and the inflow of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants.

This federal policy of flooding the market with cheap white-collar graduates and blue-collar foreign labor is intended to boost economic growth for investors.

This policy works by shifting enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts children’s schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.


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