BROCKTON, Mass. - A State Rep. is defending a Facebook post in which she shared information about a rumored immigration raid targeting undocumented immigrants in Brockton.
At a public meeting Tuesday, Rep. Michelle DuBois read a statement about the posts, but quickly pushed cameras away as reporters asked follow up questions.
In the original post, DuBois said she was passing along information “from my friend in the Latin community.”
The post, which was made around 7 a.m. Tuesday, described an apparent Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, ICE, raid set to take place Wednesday in Brockton.
“’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.”
The post was shared more than 800 times over the course of the day, and was even brought up by Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson in a Congressional subcommittee meeting on immigration enforcement- saying she potentially violated federal law under the charge of harboring anyone known to be in the country illegally, a crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
“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 Hodgson said.
A final update to the post was made at 2:33 p.m. which read, in part, “I am an elected State Representative and the response to one facebook post has caused people from across the Nation to inundate my facebook page with some pretty ugly and threatening posts. If this is what happens to an elected representative - what must be happening to immigrants every day in our Nation, both documented and not documented.”
After reading her statement at a public meeting Tuesday night, DuBois accused the media of harassing her.
“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 hadn’t contacted ICE before posting the information about the rumored raid, but when asked if posting unconfirmed information could be construed as fearmongering she said “no.”
Sheriff Hodgson and other critics have said DuBois could have endangered ICE officers and even allowed criminal activity to continue, since the alleged target of the raids were considered to be dangerous and violent criminals.
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