Anti-ICE-Raid State Rep (Finally) Has Defender

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A Massachusetts state senator Thursday night defended the Brockton state representative who used her Facebook page earlier this week to warn illegal immigrants about a rumored raid by federal immigration authorities.

State Senator Jamie Eldridge went on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News Channel and endorsed the actions of state Representative Michelle DuBois (D-Brockton), becoming the first public official to publicly support what she did.

Eldridge, a Democrat from Acton, is sponsoring a bill to declare Massachusetts a sanctuary state, meaning every community in the state would be expected to limit cooperation with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

“I think when we’re talking about Representative DuBois, look, she was looking out for the best interests of her entire community,” Eldridge said. “We know that these ICE raids have been incredibly destabliz[ing] to communities. They actually cause immigrants, whether legal or undocumented, to have less trust in calling the police about a crime. So she was really looking out for the best interests of all of her constituents, including the immigrants in her district. And, you know, that’s why we filed the Safe Communities Act, to limit police interaction with ICE raids.”

Carlson, a conservative, pressed Eldridge on the implications of disregarding federal immigration law.

“Isn’t a little weird for lawmakers to be encouraging people to ignore the law?” Carlson asked.

Eldridge put a little distance between himself and DuBois with his answer.

“Well, look, we all have different approaches as legislators. In the district I represent, when we’ve heard rumors about ICE raids, what I’ve done is reached out to the police so they can reach out to ICE agents to see if this is happening,” Eldridge said.

Carlson asked Eldridge if he’d be all right with a Massachusetts sheriff disregarding a state sanctuary law if it were approved.

Eldridge argued that state and local authorities can decide not to use local resources to enforce federal immigration laws but that a sheriff must obey state law. He described his position as “federalism.”

So far, Eldridge is on an island when it comes to supporting DuBois.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a Democrat who earlier this year declared he’d open Boston City Hall to illegal immigrants to save them from ICE, criticized DuBois’s actions in an appearance on Boston Herald Radio on Thursday.

“I would never post that. Because you don’t know what the circumstance is around the raid. … These are very delicate, sensitive raids that happen, so you can’t be broadcasting it, you shouldn’t be broadcasting it on social media or on the radio or on TV or in the paper,” Walsh said.

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter has refused to comment.