Immigration officers in Massachusetts once again allowed to detain undocumented immigrants who appear for appointments at government offices.
In a complete reversal of a February order banning the action, interim director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Boston field office Rebecca Adducci has announced a policy change that can see undocumented immigrants picked up at government offices.
Massachusetts immigration officers have been once again subject to a complete policy change which now allows them to detain any undocumented immigrant, even if they are appearing to secure their legal status.
Adducci said in an affidavit that Boston ICE office will strictly follow President Trump's Jan. 25 executive order and that all undocumented immigrants, not just those who are violent criminals or are deemed otherwise dangerous, can be detained.
MassLive.com reports that at least seven people in the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts have been arrested since January while attending appointments with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Some were at the office to secure legal status after marrying a US citizen.
The policy is the subject of a federal lawsuit put forward by the American Civil Liberties Association, filed on behalf of immigrant couples. The practice had come to a halt since February when the then-acting director of Boston's ICE field office ordered a stop. On her very first day working in Boston, however, Adducci decided on another u-turn.
"No classes or categories of removable aliens are exempt from enforcement, including detention," Adducci wrote in her affidavit.
It is not known whether any Irish immigrants in the state will be affected by this decision.
In January 2018, the deportation case of 19-year-old Galway-born Dylan O’Riordan added to the fear among the undocumented Irish in the US, according to an immigration, detention and US citizenship counselor at the Irish Pastoral Centre in Boston.
O’Riordan, who had lived undocumented in the US for seven years since his parents brought him to live in Boston aged 12, added to the increasing number of cases of Irish people being detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The 34 undocumented Irish deported in 2017 are a tiny number compared with the 128,765 Mexicans ejected, but in Boston's close-knit Irish community, the wave of arrests is big news. https://t.co/aFYlxwMJuD— NPR (@NPR) January 22, 2018
Speaking to "Morning Ireland" on RTÉ Radio 1, Kieran O'Sullivan of the Irish Pastoral Centre in Boston claimed that O’Riordan’s case was just one of a number that has stoked fears among the undocumented Irish to a height he has never previously witnessed. The young man is married and has an American-born daughter.
In June 2017, well-known Boston Irish figure John Cunningham was also picked up by ICE and removed from the country. While Donegal-born Cunningham was initially applauded as a fine community leader and his detainment shocked the Irish community in Boston, it later emerged that Cunningham had a warrant issued for his arrest. The warrant was issued in 2014 after he was accused of not carrying out electrical repairs in a house for which he had been prepaid $1,300.