A Massachusetts Lawmaker Teeters on the Edge of a Felony

By Dan Cadman on March 29, 2017

The Daily Caller has published a story about Democratic Massachusetts State Rep. Michelle DuBois' vigorous efforts to warn a local community of impending ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids via her Facebook account. She apparently deleted (or changed privacy settings) on the series of posts to make them inaccessible after receiving a significant amount of adverse feedback, but the Daily Caller saved and has shown pictures of the posts as a part of the article.

After being criticized by a Massachusetts sheriff for "completely undermin[ing] law enforcement", DuBois attempted to justify what she had done by absurdly suggesting that she was doing ICE a favor:

Passing information along that is already all-over (sic) the community, not only lets the people I represent know what is happening, it lets ICE know that everyone in Brockton is aware of ICE's planned raid (if there was one).

Having ICE know that this rumor is widespread in Brockton allows them to change the date if they feel the public's knowledge of the raid would undermine their planned raid.

If she had no firm information of imminent ICE actions, then DuBois was engaging in fear-mongering of the worst sort, and did her community no sort of kindness whatever.

If, on the other hand, DuBois had solid information about such an action (for instance, inappropriately passed along from some official source), then she has tiptoed right up to the edge of, and possibly has crossed over, the line between lawfulness and criminality.

It is a felony under federal law for any person "knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, [to] conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, or attempt to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien." (8 U.S.C. Section 1324(a)(1)(iii)) Another portion of the federal code says this: "Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal." (18 USC Section 2(a))

Ironically, whether DuBois actually acted to shield illegal aliens from detection, and therefore committed a felony, is a question that would turn, in part, on whether she was acting on solid information as opposed to simply engaging in egregious rumor-mongering.

However, as a lawmaker in the General Court (the antiquated name of the Massachusetts state legislature) DuBois took an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States as well as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her actions were, if not outright illegal, certainly unethical. They should be investigated as such, and punished by the ethics committee of the lower chamber of the General Court where she serves.