A Massachusetts law enforcement official is calling for the arrest of leaders of sanctuary cities after a state representative made a public Facebook post warning immigrants about an alleged upcoming Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid.
Democratic state Rep. Michelle DuBois from Brockton, Massachusetts, posted on Facebook about a widespread rumor that ICE officials would be conducting a raid in Brockton, looking to arrest and deport immigrants living in the area illegally.
"[I]f you are undocumented don’t go out on the street," she wrote in her now-deleted post, according to WBZ-TV. "If there is a knock on the door of your house and you don’t know who it is, don’t open the door."
Fox News reports that DuBois heard rumors of an ICE raid from a friend in the Latino community. Her post was immediately condemned by Republican lawmakers and ICE officials, who said she was obstructing justice.
"Any person who actively incites panic or fear of law enforcement is doing a disservice to the community, endangering public safety and the very people they claim to support and represent," said ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer.
DuBois maintains that her post was not obstructing justice, but simply spreading information that was already available.
"Passing information along that is already all over the community, not only lets the people I represent know what is happening, it lets ICE know that everyone in Brockton is aware of ICE’s planned raid, if there was one," she said. "Having ICE know that this rumor is ramped allows them to change the date if they feel the public’s knowledge of the raid will bring them into danger."
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson used this incident as evidence of the need to dismantle sanctuary cities, or cities that permit immigrants in the country illegally to live in them. The Republican sheriff has called for tougher immigration measures.
"This is the most outrageous, outrageous example of what is going on across the United States that is undermining my job and every other law enforcement officer in the United States," he said in his testimony to the House Subcommittee on Illegal Immigration in Washington, D.C.
Hodgson believes elected officials representing sanctuary cities should be arrested for working against the law by protecting immigrants in the country illegally.
"If these sanctuary cities are going to harbor and conceal criminal illegal aliens from ICE, which is in direct violation of Title 8 of the U.S. Code, federal arrest warrants should be issued for their elected officials," said Hodgson. "Our citizens would be safer if we never stopped enforcing immigration law and if we never formed or turned a blind eye toward sanctuary cities."
DuBois maintains that her post wasn't meant to be taken as an affront to the law, according to the Boston Herald.
"I support law enforcement. I support police officers. I wasn’t calling for an overthrow," she said. “My comments were responding to a population who are already fearful of police."
"Maybe they [ICE] should be more open about their plans. ... They should call me," she added.