Is Massachusettstruly a “sanctuary” state? Two recent instances make the state seem lax or even protective about undocumented immigrants being pursued by federal authorities. In one case, a Newton District Court judge reportedly let an illegal immigrant accused of criminal charges escape through the back door of a courtroom when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials showed up outside to round up the immigrant.
Governor Charlie Baker called on court officials early in December to remove the Newton Court judge from presiding over criminal cases while a federal grand jury investigates whether she helped a defendant evade federal immigration officials.
“I don’t believe she should be hearing criminal cases until that federal case is resolved,” Baker said, referring to Judge Shelley M. Joseph. “Look, judges are not supposed to be in the business of obstructing justice.”
Baker’s remarks to reporters at the State House came after a Boston Globe report that a federal grand jury is investigating whether court officials, including Joseph, allowed a twice-deported immigrant with multiple aliases to leave through a rear courthouse door while an ICE agent waited to arrest him.
The man was ultimately arrested.
In another case offriendliness toward immigrants, an unconventional take on the nativity scene at St. Susanna’s Parish Dedham has been seen. The baby Jesus is in a cage, and the gentile sages are behind a wall.
For the church, the scene is meant to be thought-provoking. “We try to take a picture of the world as it is and put it together with a Christmas message,” said Pastor Fr. Stephen Josoma.
That message this year questions “peace on earth,” since Jesus represents migrant children separated from their parents and being held at the southern border in cage-like structures.
The wise men represent the caravan of migrants behind the border wall. The parishioners believe it’s very much the message of Jesus.
“Jesus was about taking care of one another. This is not the way to take care of one another,” said Fr. Josoma.
But mixing politics with religion has annoyed some who believe the nativity scene has crossed a limit.
“This is where you come to pray not to be preached at what you should think about politics,” said Helen Watson who drove to church to see the display.
Many people in Massachusetts clearly have a soft corner for immigrants. These bleeding-heart liberals have made a travesty of justice by being protective about undocumented immigrants, some of them accused of serious crimes. These liberals seem to have scant regard for citizens’ safety and the rule of law.