DuBois defends issuing warning about rumored ICE raids in Brockton

BROCKTON, Mass. — The city of Brockton is bracing itself for the possibility of a rumored raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents Wednesday, and an elected official who warned residents about that possibility is coming under fire.

The comments were made by State Rep. Michelle DuBois in a Facebook post Tuesday morning. The post warned residents that ICE agents could possibly be conducting raids in the city and advised people to stay inside.

“’If you are undocumented don't go out on the street. If there is a knock on the door of your house and you don't know who it is, don't open the door. I ask you to be careful,’” the post said, quoting DuBois friend.

DuBois updated that post several times throughout the day, and at 10 a.m. added the line “To be clear: I am just forwarding a rumor that is all over Brockton. Actually I'm helping ICE to know (if they didn't already) that the raids they are planning are already known about in the City.”

Her comments were criticized by many people, including the Bristol County sheriff, who said DuBois’ remarks potentially violated federal law under the charge of harboring anyone known to be in the country illegally.

“To have chosen consciously to violate her oath and put more interest in protecting illegals, potentially criminal illegals, and certainly criminal illegals if ice were involved in this initiative, over the safety of her citizens that put her there, she needs to step down," Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said.

At a public meeting Tuesday night, she read a statement that defended her comments and then reluctantly answered questions from reporters before accusing them of harassment.

“Why are you harassing me? Literally I think I need to get a restraining order,” she said after putting her hand up to cover a camera lens.

DuBois did confirm that she did not contact ICE before posting the information about the rumored raid, but when asked if posting unconfirmed information could be construed as fearmongering she said “no.”