BROCKTON (CBS) – A Massachusetts lawmaker is defending a Facebook post she made alerting immigrants to rumored ICE raids in Brockton.
State Representative Michelle DuBois (D-10th Plymouth) posted the following on Facebook:
ICE raid in Brockton on 3/28 and 29th
If you get picked up by ICE call legal services direct line for immigration help: 774-488-5961
I got the following information from my friend in the Latin community:
“I have a message for the immigrant community of Brockton. Please be careful on Wednesday 29. ICE will be in Brockton on that day.
If you are undocumented don’t go out on the street. If there is a knock on the door of your house and you don’t know who it is, don’t open the door. I ask you to be careful.”
The post set off a firestorm of responses and on Tuesday night, DuBois said she did nothing wrong.
“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 their intended raid if there was one,” DuBois said, reading a statement aloud.
Asked whether she thought the post could be construed as obstructing justice, she replied, “No, I don’t.”
DuBois also said she did not see a problem with disseminating a rumor and admitted, she did not contact ICE before doing so.
“It’s information in my community,” she replied.
The move upset Brockton resident, Jerry Terminiello, who attended a public meeting held by DuBois to get some answers.
“I think she stepped over a line,” Terminiello said, “I’m not against immigration but criminals, if you’re an illegal immigrant and a criminal I think you should go.”
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson also weighed in on the controversy while testifying before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“This is the most outrageous, outrageous example of what’s going on across the United States that’s undermining my job and every other law enforcement officer in the United States,” Hodgson said.
Some Brockton immigration advocates are coming to DuBois’s defense.
“Good for her. At least somebody is doing something. At least somebody says something. A lot of people want to speak up but they’re afraid,” said Felicita Sepulveda from The Family Center.
ICE said it does not release information regarding future operations and does not conduct random sweeps, checkpoints or raids.
“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,” ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer said.