Boston Immigration Court

Tag • Immigration Law Blog

Two Massachusetts Prosecutors Sue Trump Administration Over Courthouse Immigration Arrests

According to reporting from, two of the top prosecutors in Massachusetts have filed a joint lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the Trump Administration’s authority to conduct immigration enforcement operations at courthouses. This action comes days after a Massachusetts judge was indicted for allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant escape out the backdoor of a state courthouse to avoid ICE. Here, our Boston immigration attorney provides an overview of the lawsuit and explains why ICE courthouse raids make our community less safe.

The Legal Argument: Violation of the Constitutional Right to Access Courts

The lawsuit — which is reported to be the first of its kind in the country — was filed by Rachael Rollins, the District Attorney for Suffolk County and Marian Ryan, the District Attorney for Middlesex County. In their complaint, they raise a number of different legal arguments against the federal government.

Most importantly, they argue that the Trump Administration’s policy of conducting immigration enforcement operations at Boston-area courthouses has the effect of denying many community members their constitutional right to reasonably access the courts.

When immigrants fear the possibility of an ICE raid, they are simply much less likely to participate in the legal process at all— even though they may be witnesses to the crime or even the victim of the crime. District Attorney Marian Ryan stated in a press conference that she has recently had multiple criminal cases disrupted because of this issue.

Courthouse Enforcement Operations Make Our Community Less Safe

In far too many cases, crime victims are unable to access justice because witnesses are too afraid of deportation to participate in court proceedings. Getting justice for the community requires making state and federal courts a safe space from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and other enforcement operations. Officials in other states, including in New York and in California, have also taken action to limit the ability of federal immigration officers to conduct enforcement operations in courthouses.

Notably, the lawsuit filed by District Attorney Rollins and District Attorney Ryan comes just days after a Massachusetts judge was arrested for allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant evade an ICE agent inside a courthouse. As reported by National Public Radio (NPR), Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph of the Newton District Court was charged with obstruction of justice by federal prosecutors in Massachusetts after she allegedly helped an undocumented immigrant slip out of the back door while an ICE agent was waiting in the front of the courthouse. A now-retired court officer was also charged in the case. They both have pleaded not guilty.

Get Help From Our Boston, MA Immigration Attorney Today

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our Boston immigration attorneys are committed to providing exceptional legal representation to immigrants and their family members. We are strong advocates for immigrant rights in Massachusetts.

To set up a fully confidential review of your case, please do not hesitate to contact us today at (617) 722-0005. From our office in Boston, we represent clients throughout the region including in Suffolk County, Middlesex County, and Norfolk County.


Boston Immigration Court delays opening because of snow

Boston Deportation Defense Lawyer News

Immigration lawyers in Boston have received notice that, because of anticipated snow emergency, Boston Immigration Court will delay opening the court until 10:00AM on January 27, 2011. Anyone who has a hearing in Immigration Court should report at that time to determine the status of their immigration case.

If the snow worsens and Boston Immigration Court decides to close, I’ll be sure to update this blog. Meanwhile, you can call the Boston Immigration Court weather line at 617-565-3080, x299.

deportation cases in Boston immigration Court face long delays

As a Boston-based immigration lawyer specializing in deportation defense, I’m well aware of the Boston Globe reported today here. The docket in Boston Immigration Court is overwhelmed with deportation cases.

So, based on this article, if you are in deportation proceedings, how long can you expect to wait before Boston Immigration Court processes your immigration case?  The answer depends on a number of factors.  People with no relief from removal or deportation tend to have their cases processed more quickly.  The long delays mostly impact people who have application for relief such as cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, or asylum.

To give you an example how these delays play out, in December of 2009, I appeared before an Immigration Court in Boston for a master calendar hearing. I turned in pleadings indicating that I was seeking relief from deportation in the form of cancellation of removal with an I-601 waiver for misrepresentation.  An Immigration Judge would likely need  three and a half hours for to conduct a full merits hearing.  The Immigration Judge scheduled another master calendar hearing in December of 2010, where I’m expected to appear and turn in my application for relief.  The Immigration Judge will then schedule an individual hearing, which is a trial date.  I expect that this hearing will be in mid-2012.

So for my client, the entire process of seeking relief from deportation in Boston Immigration Court will take more than 3 years.  This delay is more than a minor inconvenience. During this time, he is unable to travel outside the United States to see his ailing mother.

One ray of hope is that a new Immigration Judge will replace Boston Immigration Judge Cramer, who retired last summer.

Boston Immigration Court AILA Liaison

I’m proud to announce that I’ve been re-appointed as a liaison to Boston’s Immigration Court for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA) – New England Chapter. As a member of the Liaison Committee to the Executive Office of Immigration Review, I look forward to assisting my esteemed colleagues.

In Boston, immigration lawyers and the Immigration Court have a tradition of warm relationship, for which we can thank the leadership of Court’s Administrator Robert Halpin.  As a liaison, I’m happy to be able make a small contribution to this on-going comity.

Boston Immigration Court News: our new Immigration Judge–Brenda O’Malley

This evening I attended a meeting of the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  Robert Halpin, the Court’s Administrator, announced that Boston’s new Immigration Judge, Brenda O’Malley, will be taking the bench and hearing deportation cases starting May 18, 2009 after training in Immigration Court in Boston, MA and Hartford, CT.  Judge O’Malley has built a distinguished career having served previously with, among other places, the Office of Immigration Litigation, the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) Office of Chief Immigration Judge.  Apparently, she even worked at one point as a law clerk with Boston’s Immigration Court!

Boston immigration lawyers with backlogged deportation cases are thrilled that we will soon have a new, 7th Immigration Judge to relieve the Immigration Court’s busy docket.