Thursday, July 14, 2005

AFSC/Politics and Economics /Immigration

Town Uses Trespass Law to Fight Illegal Immigrants

Sarasota Herald-Tribune/
Sarasota/FL/USA/12-Jul-05/NY Times

The Ledger//FL/USA/12-Jul-05/NY Times

New York Times/New York/NY/USA/12-Jul-05/NY Times

…. Even some critics of the New Hampshire citations, like Susan J. Cohen, a Boston immigration lawyer, said the law's broad language made it seem applicable to immigration.

Ms. Cohen said most states' criminal trespassing laws referred specifically to private property and could not be easily applied to immigration. But Kris W. Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who was counsel to John Ashcroft when Mr. Ashcroft was attorney general, said he believed that New Hampshire's wording was not unusual, and added that the charges were appropriate because the government "has always been careful to invite and encourage local assistance with immigration arrests."

Not every police department would take such a tack. In Nashua, N.H., which has a growing Hispanic population, the deputy police chief, Don Conley, said that "I don't think it's in the true spirit of New Hampshire's criminal trespass law."

Opponents like Arnie Alpert, New Hampshire coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee, say such citations will discourage immigrants, legal and illegal alike, from cooperating with police officers. And Porfirio Thierry Muñoz-Ledo, the Mexican consul general in Boston, who attended Tuesday's hearing, said, "The concern is that we are dealing in a state court with matters that belong to a federal level." ...


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