NH Towns Charge Illegal Immigrants With Trespass


The police chief of the tiny town of New Ipswich, N.H., has crafted his own border-control policy –charging illegal Mexican immigrants with trespassing, says the Washington Post. The novel legal strategy has made a celebrity of Chief W. Garrett Chamberlain, 36. Chamberlain, who has served as chief for three years, attributes his actions to frustration with the federal government. His officers discovered illegal immigrants several times, but U.S. agents declined to detain them. “I’m just saying: ‘Wait a minute. We’re on heightened alert and it’s post-9/11, and I’m going to let an illegal immigrant who I don’t know from Adam just walk away?’ ” he said. “That’s ridiculous. If I find you are in my country illegally, I’m not going to worry about political correctness. I will detain you.”

The chief in nearby Hudson, N.H., has followed suit, and other chiefs say they might do the same. The Mexican consulate has hired an attorney for a man arrested in New Ipswich, fearing that a court may uphold the trespassing charges and set a national precedent. “The Mexican government was understandably worried that this could become the charge du jour across the country,” said Claire Ebel of the New Hampshire American Civil Liberties Union, which helped find the lawyer for Ramirez. “They worry about vigilante police chiefs who will round up people based on the color of their skin.”

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/09/AR2005060902035.html

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