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Suffolk DA Outlines Policies To Protect Immigrants And Those Charged With Low-Level Crimes

This article is more than 4 years old.

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is facing pushback from federal immigration officials for instructing members of her staff to notify her if they see immigration officers questioning or apprehending people at county courthouses.

Rollins lays out that and other policies in a lengthy memo issued Monday.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Boston released a statement in response, saying Rollins should "focus her attention more on allegations of those accused of criminal activity than on the men and women of law enforcement who courageously protect our communities every day."

Among the other plans Rollins outlines in her policy memo is one she pledged during her campaign: to generally not prosecute certain crimes, including shoplifting and drug possession.

On Tuesday Gov. Charlie Baker said he hadn't read Rollins' memo, but that he wants to make sure "people who have done bad things to people" will be prosecuted and serve time behind bars.

"Certainly the criminal justice bill that we worked on and got passed last year was built on the idea that people shouldn't be branded for the rest of their lives for making a mistake," Baker said. "But I certainly believe that victims are owed a criminal justice system that takes their interests and their issues as seriously as everybody else's."

Rollins spoke with WBUR's Jack Lepiarz on All Things Considered. Hear their conversation above.


Jack Lepiarz Reporter and Anchor
Jack Lepiarz was a reporter and anchor at WBUR.


Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.



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