A Massachusetts state lawmaker posted a warning to illegal immigrants on her Facebook page about potential immigration enforcement raids in her area, and some say she might have broken the law in doing so.
State Rep. Michelle DuBois enraged many when she posted a rumor she heard from a friend about possible ICE raids, and gave instructions to illegal immigrants on how to avoid arrest.
The post went viral on social media, although she deleted it soon after the furor started.
She posted the date and location of supposedly planned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, and quoted a friend who said, "I have a message for the immigrant community of Brockton. Please be careful on Wednesday 29. ICE will be in Brockton on that day."
"If you are undocumented don't go out on the street," the post continued. "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."
DuBois was confronted about her controversial actions by Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson in a Congressional subcommittee, saying that she could have violated federal law, and if charged, could face up to 5 years in prison.
“To have chosen consciously to violate her oath and put more interest in protecting illegals," he said, "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."
Hodgson later appeared Wednesday on Fox News to explain why DuBois' actions were so damaging and dangerous.
"I can't think of anything more irresponsible," he said, "and more underhanded and undermining to law enforcement and to the people of that community than what this state representative did. She oughta be ashamed of herself, the state Legislature oughta be looking at her for, at a minimum, ethics violations. And on top of that, I'm sure there'll be some review as to whether or not she may have compromised some investigation involving ICE."
"Here's the real important issue around this," he continued. "She doesn't have any idea, the people she's warning or what their backgrounds are. They could be gang members involved in trans-national gangs, this sex-trafficking that's going on, and our officers, in both the federal, state and local level, we sometimes need the element of surprise to make sure that somebody's not building an arsenal, waiting for us, or having some heads up where one of our officers is going to get seriously injured or killed. Never mind the other issue around the threat that these people could get away that we know may be potentially harmful to people in the community, but now have cover for God knows how long, and how many people to victimize."
DuBois remained defiant after the public outcry. She defended her actions to local reporters, saying she saw no problem sharing rumors of ICE raids: "No, I don't, it's information in my community."
When asked if she could see how some might call what she did "fear-mongering," she said simply, "No, no. I just don't."
Illegal border crossings have dropped by an "unprecedented" degree according to border officials, who say that it might have been President Donald Trump's tough rhetoric on deporting illegal immigrants that scared off potential illegal immigrants. Trump has also ordered a shuffling of immigration judges in order to speed up the deportations of illegals already detained.