Posted on October 23, 2019

Actions of Judge Who Helped Illegal Alien Evade ICE Don’t Fall Under Judicial Immunity: Prosecutors

Zachary Stieber, Epoch Times, October 22, 2019

The federal judge who allegedly helped an illegal immigrant evade Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was not under judicial immunity, prosecutors argued in court.

Lawyers for Judge Shelley Joseph, 51, have argued that even if she did help the alien evade ICE, her actions fell under judicial immunity.

Prosecutors said during a session on Oct. 18 that they don’t agree.

“A judge does not engage in a judicial act when she participates in a scheme to obstruct a federal proceeding—regardless of whether she is sitting on the bench when she does so,” prosecutors said, reported Law360. {snip}

Prosecutors also said prosecuting Joseph would not have a negative impact on judicial independence.


Joseph was indicted in April with court officer Wesley MacGregor, 56. After an illegal immigrant who had been deported twice was arrested and charged with being a fugitive from justice and possessing drugs in March 2018, Joseph and MacGregor allegedly helped the man slip out a back door to avoid an ICE officer who was in the lobby outside the courtroom. P{snip}


{snip} Immediately following the proceeding, MacGregor allegedly escorted the defendant, his attorney, and an interpreter downstairs to the lockup and used his security access card to open the rear sally-port exit and release the defendant at 3:01 p.m.”

MacGregor was also charged with perjury for falsely testifying before a federal grand jury on July 12 that he didn’t know ICE agents were at the courthouse or that there was a detainer for the defendant. The ICE officer had announced his arrival hours before the release to courthouse personnel, including Joseph and MacGregor.

Joseph faces up to 30 years in prison, up to 11 years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. MacGregor faces up to 35 years in prison, up to 14 years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $500,000.


Joseph is receiving her $181,000 salary while she’s suspended as the proceedings go forward. Joseph complained that she was struggling with her financial situation when she wasn’t getting paid while suspended, prompting the state Supreme Judicial Court to rule in her favor.