Illegal Alien, Focus of Massachusetts High Court Order Limiting Detentions, Commits Violent Crime — Story Now Going National

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An illegal immigrant who only months ago became the unofficial face in Massachusetts for the American Civil Liberties Union’s pro-sanctuary-state stance was recently charged with committing a violent crime, and now the sordid story is spreading nationally.

This past February,  NewBostonPost reported on pro-illegal-immigration activists’ push to free Sreynuon Lunn. Lunn had landed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention order, but later saw Bay State prosecutors dismiss his unarmed robbery charge, possibly due to an administrative error identified by Lunn’s defense attorney, who pointed out at the time that “the Commonwealth was reporting not ready” to try his case.

The dismissal of Lunn’s criminal charges prompted ACLU attorneys to work on his behalf, and his bid to remain in Massachusetts and be released from detention eventually reached the state Supreme Judicial Court. In June the court ruled that Massachusetts officials cannot detain individuals solely at the request of the same federal authorities who had pushed for Lunn’s detainment and potential deportation.

Earlier this month the Boston Herald reported that Lunn had been arrested again, this time for allegedly acting with an accomplice to roll a wheelchair-bound elderly woman away from a Charles River Plaza Bank of America kiosk as part of a $2,000 robbery, reportedly captured on surveillance video. Lunn allegedly walloped her over the head before absconding with the cash, which he later told police was needed to satiate an addiction to opioid drugs.

The Boston Globe has not reported on the latest incident involving Lunn, but the tale has nonetheless managed to have gone national after the Washington Times on Monday picked up on the story.    

“The illegal immigrant whose case turned Massachusetts into a ‘sanctuary’ state is behind bars yet again,” wrote Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan. “Police say he committed a stunning daylight robbery by taking a wheelchair-bound woman, slapping her and stealing the $2,000 she had just carried out of the bank.”

Dinan pointed out, as did the Herald, that a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruling also played a role in federal authorities’ inability to detain or deport Lunn, who was born to Cambodian parents living in a Thailand refugee camp. According to the Herald, Cambodia claims they have no paperwork on Lunn.

“In effect, Lunn is a man with no country, and under a ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001, ICE cannot indefinitely hold him,” the Herald report noted.

Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, told the Washington Times that “one thing that is crystal-clear is that the arrest of Mr. Lunn has nothing to do with the Supreme Judicial Court case about his unlawful detention.”

Herald columnist Howie Carr, however, recently opined that Lunn’s violent crime episode falls on the judges’ hands.

“Another horrific crime committed in Boston by another poster boy for judicial coddling of violent criminal illegal immigrants,” Carr wrote.  “Lunn had already been cut loose because of a different insane U.S. Supreme Court decision shielding violent illegal immigrants from deportation.

“But the SJC ruling re: Lunn, moot as it was, was hailed as basically making Massachusetts a ‘sanctuary state’ for foreign criminals.”

On Wednesday the popular conservative and Minnesota-based Powerline Blog website became the latest outlet to have picked up on the Lunn ordeal. The site, launched by three Dartmouth College-educated attorneys, titled their piece “Lunn Lunacy.”

“Sreynuon Lunn should be a poster boy for the reform of American immigration law,” wrote one of the site’s co-founders, Scott Johnson. “The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts brags about the great work it has done as an amicus advocating Lunn’s cause together with the prominent Boston law firm Ropes & Gray.”

Lunn, Johnson notes, “is a vicious one-man crime wave.”

Lunn has not been convicted on his latest charges.