Rules: If Feds Won't Enforce Immigration Laws, Locals Must
Illegal immigration follies…
[by Mac Johnson] 8/16/05
Borders Bloc successfully mobilized this summer to put down
an unexpected outbreak of the rule of law. The rebellion was
brief but threatening, as local law enforcement clearly overstepped
their bounds and began enforcing laws willy-nilly--leading
many in the ruling elite to wonder where it all might end.
Luckily, a judge was able to step in and stop the law before
it could be enforced again.
In a case
well publicized by the national media, Chief Garret Chamberlain,
a police officer in the town of New Ipswich, N.H., encountered
Mexican citizen Jorge Mora Ramirez broken down on the side
of the road. Ramirez, though unable to speak much English,
admitted that he was in the country illegally, was in possession
of forged Massachusetts identification bearing a fictitious
Social Security number, and was illegally employed in a construction
project in a nearby town.
Johnson is a freelance writer and biologist in Cambridge,
Mass. Mr. Johnson holds a Doctorate in Molecular and
Cellular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine. He
is a frequent opinion contributor to Human
Events Online. His website can be found at macjohnson.com [go
to Johnson index]
In a move that the media is still grasping to
understand, Chamberlain then called the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) Division
of the Department of Homeland Security (formerly known as the
Immigration and Naturalization Service or INS), with the idea
that they might want to, say, apprehend and deport the
unknown foreign national in possession of forged government documents
and investigate the matter as a violation of so-called “law.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement quickly informed Chamberlain,
however, that they were not much interested in enforcing immigration
or customs laws, and he should release Ramirez before tragedy
occurred and some hapless piece of drywall was not affixed at
a below-market rate. Investigating the admitted client of an
international human smuggling and document forgery network is
not really the sort of thing that the Department of Homeland
Security can afford to waste resources on, it seems.
This was not the first time such an incident
had occurred. The previous July, Chamberlain had stopped a
van loaded with nine
criminal aliens from Ecuador. Upon calling Immigration and Customs “Enforcement,” Chamberlain
was told that the nine men, who had entered the country illegally
and were employed by a roofing company illegally, hadn’t
done anything “criminal” and should therefore be
So Chamberlain gave up on the corrupt federal
immigration system and charged Ramirez with being in New Ipswich
New Hampshire’s trespass law, which states, ''A person
is guilty of criminal trespass if, knowing that he is not licensed
or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place."
Chamberlain explained, ''My position was: If
Mr. Ramirez was in the country illegally, he was obviously
in the town of New
The logic is incontrovertible.
Unless you are a proponent of unlimited, unscreened,
unfettered foreign entry into America, and all such were simply
that Chamberlain had failed to play the game properly. In America,
there are two sets of laws: those that are passed by Congress
to placate the election-year will of the people, and those that
the ruling elite actually wants enforced. And leaders in both
parties have no intention of enforcing immigration law. These
laws exist only to quiet the whining masses. Enforcing such laws
is exactly the sort of thing a law enforcement officer should
know better than to do. I mean, what’s next? Actual democracy?
Worse yet, this law “enforcement” fad threatened
to catch on, as other police departments--frustrated by the federal
government’s willful inaction and flagrant failure to enforce
immigration law--expressed interest in using the trespass law
to protect their towns from the financial and criminal burdens
imposed by illegal aliens. In the nearby town of Hudson, N.H.,
Police Chief Richard Gendron bravely backed up Chamberlain by
charging several criminal aliens found in his town with trespassing.
Immigration and Customs “Enforcement” was outraged.
Paula Grenier, an ICE spokeswoman, commented, “For a police
chief to grandstand about illegal immigration, and [give] the
perception that the federal government is doing nothing, is wrong.” Of
course it is. ICE told the chief to let the illegal aliens go,
and that is doing something, isn’t it?
The Mexican government was so concerned that its biggest moneymaker
(illegal labor pimping) might be harmed that they paid for legal
counsel and sent their counsel-general to view the hearings.
media and numerous other liberal advocacy groups were aghast
and reacted predictably. Last week, the judge hearing
the cases issued his decision.
law, he ruled, is solely the federal government’s
to neglect, and claims that the act of illegal entry into the
US might be violations of any local laws would be “unconstitutional
attempts to regulate in the area of enforcement of immigration
violations, an area where Congress must be deemed to have regulated
with such civil sanctions and criminal penalties as it feels
In other words, if an unelected bureaucrat at ICE decides that
it is OK for an unidentified foreign national to be in the United
States illegally, it is OK for him to be in New Ipswich illegally.
The law be damned.
This is a
curious decision when one considers that in almost every other
area of law known, the statutes of federal, state
and local governments often overlap. Yet no one claims that local
gun-control or minimum-wage ordinances violate the will of Congress
on these issues, or that federal civil rights and terrorism laws
are unconstitutional infringements on state laws against murder
and assault. It is a well-established legal precedent in this
nation that a single act may cause one to be in violation of
multiple laws--and thus subject to prosecution by more than one
layer of government. Just ask Elliot Spitzer.
the quick reaction to local enforcement of immigration law
the phenomenon of “sanctuary cities”--cities
that have prohibited their police from assisting
the federal government in finding illegal aliens. Clearly, such prohibitions
constitute “unconstitutional attempts to regulate in the
area of enforcement of immigration violations,” yet they
continue unimpeded and without pressure from the media and ICE,
even years after court rulings against them.
Apparently, one may help the federal government
subvert immigration law all one wants, but don’t dare
try to help it actually enforce things.
So what are the abandoned local and state governments (who bear
the brunt of illegal immigration costs) to do, if they may not
charge illegal stowaways with trespass?
Charge them with something else.
Local governments can require contractors and laborers to register
and show real identification (which coincidentally now requires
proof of legal residency). Violation of such a law would be a
wholly local matter. Local governments regulate restaurant zoning,
and issue building permits. They can disperse loiterers and deny
builders their inspection approvals. Local governments have a
lot of power to regulate local activity.
Whatever local governments do, they must not
surrender. Because when you fight back, sometimes you win even
when you lose. Consider
the parting words of Ramirez’s attorney regarding the future
plans of his illegal alien clients: "I think they plan on
staying out of Hudson and New Ipswich, N.H."
of one cop in one town got the attention of the U.S. government,
the Mexican government, the national media and the
open-borders zealots. The town forced the issue on behalf of
the clear majority of the American people and in the process
made itself safer and finally respected among the criminal
alien population, most of whom will now avoid the place altogether.
There are tens of thousands of towns and cities in America,
even 1% to follow the lead of New Ipswich and Hudson, it would
change everything --and restore the rule of law.
You never really lose until you stop fighting.
Charge them with something. Anything. tOR
This piece first appeared at Human
2005 Mac Johnson