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Contact: Michael Avitzur
Director of Government Relations

BBA Statement on the Federal Indictment of Judge Joseph

As the BBA has previously stated in its Immigration Principles the federal government’s decision to send ICE officers to Massachusetts courthouses significantly interferes with the ability to secure justice for all in cases where immigrants—documented and undocumented—are victims, witnesses, or defendants.

Massachusetts judges, forbidden by state law from detaining anyone at ICE’s request based on a civil deportation warrant, face severe disciplinary sanctions should they violate court rules or policies. In the absence of allegations of corruption or graft, a federal indictment of a state court judge based on her judicial actions is an unprecedented overreach into state authority, and poses a serious threat to the judicial independence that we all depend upon to protect our rights under the law.

The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large and promote diversity and inclusion.