Skip to comments.Hudson (New Hampshire) chief in the middle of immigration fight
Posted on 05/24/2005 5:07:38 PM PDT by TFine80
HUDSON, N.H. -- Police Chief Richard Gendron finds himself in the middle of a national debate centering on immigration laws after citing two illegal immigrants on charges of criminal trespass.
Yesterday, moments before a group of about 20 protesters entered the police station to voice their objections to the policy, a delegation from the Statehouse presented Chief Richard Gendron with a plaque commending his actions.
Applying a state law that governs criminal trespass, Hudson police cited two illegal immigrants on May 10 who were stopped for driving with a broken headlight. The pair, Sergio Robles Ruiz and Margarito Jaramillo Escobar, two Mexican nationals, did not have valid drivers' licenses and no documentation to prove they were in the country legally. Although they were never arrested, the criminal-trespass violation carries a maximum fine of $1,000. Ruiz and Escobar are scheduled to appear in Nashua District Court on May 26.
Speaking for the New Hampshire Immigration Rights Task Force, state Rep. Hector Valez of Manchester told Gendron he is deeply troubled by the trespassing charges brought against the pair, as well as the arrest of Jorge Mora Ramirez in New Ipswich.
We believe these charges represent unjust and unconstitutional denials of human rights, Valez said. We are concerned that the practices of the Hudson and New Ipswich police will lead inevitably to the profiling of motorists and pedestrians based on perception of immigration status.
But Gendron defended the actions of his officers, adding that the illegal immigrants were never arrested.
Our position is that if you entered the country illegally, you committed a crime, he said. The United States government has spent billions of dollars on Homeland Security since September 11, 2001, and it starts with illegal aliens. They should not be here.
Gendron followed the lead of New Ipswich Police Chief W. Garrett Chamberlain, who has used the trespassing law to deal with undocumented immigrants.
Last July, New Ipswich police officers pulled over a van and found nine illegal immigrants inside. Several weeks ago, an officer in New Ipswich questioned Ramirez, a 21-year-old Mexican, while he was making a phone call from his car. Ramirez admitted he was in the country illegally and Chamberlain applied the trespassing statute when federal authorities refused to take him into custody.
According to New Hampshire law, a person is guilty of criminal trespass if he enters or remains in any place knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so.
Gendron said reaction to the policy has been positive, but protesters outside in the rain held signs that read, Stop Profiling, and Stop Bogus Arrests.
LouAnn Fornataro had harsh words for the police.
The people of New Hampshire ought to be outraged, she said. These chiefs of police have become vigilantes. The fact that they wear badges does not make them less than vigilantes. A law-enforcement officer has the responsibility to protect citizens from vigilantes. At the moment the vigilantes in New Ipswich and Hudson are wearing badges.
Cliff Miller of Windham and Tom Stilings of Westford, Mass., sat quietly in the back of a covered pickup truck that carried American flags and signs that read, What part of illegal don't you understand?
We spent many years defending everyone else's rights to free speech and now it's our turn, said Miller, who is 73.
Locally, Victoria Fahlberg, Executive Director of ONE Lowell, weighed in on the issue, saying she fears the New Hampshire cases will lead to racial profiling.
It stems from this whole attitude that came out of September 11, she said. It gives legitimacy to people who want to get rid of all the immigrants. If they're criminals, by all means let them go through the process. But these people are being dehumanized simply because they're undocumented.
Fahlberg said she supports new reform legislation what would allow undocumented immigrants to earn their legal status.
Aren't there enough real criminals that we should be concerned about? This is a total waste of taxpayer money, she said.
As the protesters filed into the police station, state Rep. David L. Buhlman from the House Immigration Caucus presented Gendron with a plaque that read, in part, in recognition of his dedication to protect the rights of citizens who are legally residing in the United States and to apprehend those who are in the United States illegally and therefore breaking the law.
Before stopping in Hudson with a petition signed by over 100 people, the task force went to New Ipswich, where they presented a similar petition to Chamberlain. Mark MacKenzie, a spokesman for the task force, said the citations sent the wrong message to the rest of the country.
And the message is not receiving a lot of support. Immigration is a complicated issue. People are in different phases of the immigration process trying to become legal citizens of this country, MacKenzie said.
Dennis Shaughnessey's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We ought to find out who funds these open borders foot soldiers and then crack them between the eyes.
Protect our borders and coastlines from all foreign invaders!
Be Ever Vigilant!
Minutemen Patriots ~ Bump!
For your attention:
"We have Nicaragua, soon we will have El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Mexico. One day, tomorrow or five years or fifteen years from now, we're going to take 5 to 10 million Mexicans and they are going into Dallas, into El Paso, into Houston, into New Mexico, into San Diego, and each one will have embedded in his mind the idea of killing ten Americans."
--Thomas Borge, Nicaragua Interior Minister as quoted in the Washington Times, March 27, 1985
This is outrageous! These pro-invasion groups are basically now saying anyone who enforces immigration laws is a vigilante?
Maybe the professional protestors would handle it better, but I have tripped up quite a few liberals with this line of thinking.
Them:"If they are criminals..."
Me:"I agree completely."
Me:"Absolutely. Where we differ is that you only want to deport people who broke the laws you like, just not the laws you don't like. But that isn't the way it works. Our immigration is controlled by laws. Those who come here illegally broke those laws. I agree with you...deport those that break our laws. That is ALL illegal immigrants who have ALL broken our immigration laws."
Admittedly, this is nothing new to FReepers except for possibly the 'I agree with you' part.