Matt Cameron Profile picture
Jun 22, 2018 17 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter

Yesterday #ICE physically restrained my client just outside the #EastBoston District Court clerk's office immediately after he made bail. The chief of probation said it was the first time in 40 yrs immigration authorities had actually entered the courthouse.
2/ He is 21 years old. No crim record. 1 month away from a greencard. Facing serious harm if deported.

We had done everything possible to keep him from #ICE, but even the #Boston #TrustAct could not protect him.

This is a problem.

@LydiaMEdwards @marty_walsh @adrianmadaro
3/ Even when they are on a state-issued GPS bracelet, ICE officers will cut the bracelet off and toss it back onto a probation officer's desk. Even so, probation told me that they are officially "neutral" on #ICE actions. I tried to explain that there is no "neutral" here.
4/ He had just been arraigned on a charge that issued against someone with a different name and a DOB 10 years older than his government-issued ID. Judge found probable cause for the charge to go forward based solely on a gang member's word. Immigration bond will be tough.
5/ #ICE purposely arrests defendants after arraignment (NOT conviction) so that they end up detained in #ImmigrationCourt with an open charge. Immigration judge will assume whatever is in the police report is probably true & deny bond no matter how strong defense might have been.
6/ In a rational society, #ICE detainees would be brought back for their state criminal court dates. But not ours. #ICE refuses to honor state court orders to return defendants to court, effectively forcing them to default on cases against their will and leave them unresolved.
7/ And it gets worse. An open criminal charge (no matter how minor, and they're usually minor) will not only have immigration bond denied but essentially guarantee future denial of an immigrant visa after you've been deported. #ICE knows this.
8/ To review: Sympathetic young man w/in 1 month of lawful residency working two jobs w/a baby on the way in August is brought into criminal court on a spurious allegation uncorroborated by anyone but a known gang member, and may now lose his entire future in the U.S.

9/ All because #ICE was allowed to enter a #Boston courthouse and arrest him immediately after he posted bail.

Do we really want word getting around that #Boston courthouses are not safe for immigrants? Is that really what #ICE is trying to do here?

10/ #Boston city council passed the #TrustAct unanimously. Good.

Our SJC made us the first "sanctuary state" in the country to gain that status by a judicial order. Better.

Our legislature refuses to pass #SafeCommunitiesAct. Bad.

#mapoli #bospoli
11/ After MA Supreme Judicial Court ruled that state couldn't honor #ICE detainers, #ICE stareted conducting mass courthouse arrests in retaliation for the SJC having the temerity to notice that detainers are not warrants. @LawyersCom_MA has been tracking the results

12/ Anyone who claims to care about federalism, due process, small government, "states rights," #BlueLivesMatter, or any other previously-conservative pro-law enforcement / anti-big-government position that I can remember from before Trump should be outraged about this.
13/ And, of course, anyone who cares about immigrant justice, standing up to #ICE, stopping deportations, #BlackLivesMatter, or even really just basic human rights should be in the streets about this. See you there.

#KeepFamiliesTogether #StopSeparatingFamilies #AbolishICE
*CORRECTION: made an *arrest* in the courthouse. Important distinction, and much worse.
1 thing I keep thinking about:

As they left, I looked the #ICE officer in the eye. I was angry. Had to say something.

"You don't have to do this. This could be the end of his life."

"I'm just doing my job, counselor."

Maybe this doesn't need to be a job at all.

#Boston, #ICE is about to triple its ground force. They already have a foot in our door.

What are *you* going to do about it?

Silence is complicity.
"Neutrality" is complicity.
Speech w/o action is complicity.
Complicity is complicity.

#SafeCommunitiesAct. Now.

...and in better news, I just found out that I stopped a deportation today. So there's that. Have a great weekend, my #dirtyimmigrationlawyers & anyone else out there in or supporting the fight right now.

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More from @matt_cam

Sep 25, 2018
1/ One of the worst parts of the proposed new DHS "public charge" rule would resurrect a 400-yr-old idea, punish lower-income immigrants, AND deliver a massive new giveaway to Wall Street.

Not seeing much out there on this piece right now, so here's what you need to know:
2/ The idea of a "public charge bond" goes back to the earliest colonial days. If someone coming over from Europe didn't seem like they would be able to support themselves, the ship's captain would have to put up a given amount of money to keep them off the dole or take them back
3/ As part of the "Passenger Cases," SCOTUS struck down the city of Boston's attempt to collect public charge bonds from ship captains as unconstitutional in 1849, finding that only the federal government had this kind of power. But it didn't actually exercise it until 1882.
Read 16 tweets
Aug 27, 2018
Appalling, but no surprise here.

No member of Congress should ever be able publicly comment on immigration--alone work on imm legislation--without answering one simple question:

"How does an undocumented person get a greencard?"
Not, like, step-by-step but generally what are the paths available under current law. If the answer is any variation on "get in line like everybody else," an automatic 6-month bar on any immigration rhetoric/legislation until finishing a mandatory US Immigration 101 course.
If you or your staff are not willing to take the time to understand the system we have, there is no place at the table for you in working toward a new one. None.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 22, 2018
1/ Ten years ago this June a recent immigrant was sentenced to life for the vicious, violent, cold-blooded murder of his wife and infant daughter before trying to flee to his home country.

Here's what *didn't* happen:…

--@bostonherald didn't run an angry editorial blaming our imm. vetting processes

--No one used this tragedy to call for an end to all British immigration

--The media never used a booking photo; always images like this one to remind us of his wealth & whiteness
3/ Neil Entwistle shot his wife in the head, and then his infant daughter in the stomach as she lay sleeping in her mother's arms. He then withdrew every dollar they had and fled to London. Mass state troopers grabbed him on a tube platform.
Read 12 tweets
Aug 22, 2018
If you're ever up for listening in on what your local Deep State is up to, may I recommend one of my favorite eateries in #Boston: the cafe in the JFK fed. building. Decent, reasonably-priced food with a nice view and plenty of space to relax while waiting for #immigrationcourt
1/ Two VA managers are having a lunch meeting nearby, talking through how to deliver faster/better services to a 94-year-old veteran & review implementation of a new process.

A USCIS officer is having a quick salad before another round of immigration interviews. In + out in 10
2/ Friends, this is your actual "Deep State."

Career public servants who take pride in keeping their agencies on mission and making the best use of tax dollars doing it, no matter the President or policies. Dedication, commitment, and institutional knowledge. We can't lose them.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 4, 2018

The people running it & the President directing its policies are also bad.

But ICE was still bad when the President was better.

Its purpose is bad.

Its mandate is bad.

Its unaccountability is bad.

Okay, so any questions on that


Maybe *not* have a rogue, unaccountable, armed secret police force & threat of indefinite detention in a disgusting American gulag archipelago terrorizing immigrant communities in the name of enforcing civil immigration orders

Coordinated internal immigration enforcement is a very new idea in US history. But apart from that: we've only been doing it this way for 15 years. If you are doing anything to make this model inevitable, you're on the wrong side
Read 6 tweets
Jul 30, 2018
1/ Live-tweeting from the Boston immigration court's detained docket:

Detainee is on video. I can't see his face but he has a heavy Massachusetts accent--you'd never know he wasn't born here. He is seeking bond.
2/ He has a series of drug-related convictions together with a record consistent with an addiction. Judge leaves his bond at "no bond" without hearing from him.
3/ Like most people on the detained docket, he doesn't have and can't afford a lawyer. (No appointed counsel here.) He is now speaking for himself.
Read 32 tweets

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