Illegal aliens charged with tresspassing.

NEW IPSWICH, N.H. — The police chief of this tiny whitewashed New England town has crafted his own border-control policy — he has charged illegal immigrants from Mexico with trespassing in New Hampshire. Chamberlain was nudged into action in the summer of 2004, when he stopped a van for speeding along New Ipswich’s short main drag. He found 10 Ecuadoran men inside, all of whom readily admitted they lacked legal papers. Chamberlain placed a phone call to ICE “The feds were, like, ‘Whatever. Just give them a ticket and let them go,’ ” Chamberlain said. “I was shocked.”

After that, the chief sat down with a local prosecutor and tried to find a legal foothold. They settled on New Hampshire’s trespassing law, which states: “A person is guilty of criminal trespass if, knowing he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place.” They planned to demand that illegal immigrants report to an immigration office within 72 hours of pleading guilty.

Already, another police chief, Richard E. Gendron in nearby Hudson, N.H., has followed suit. A few days ago, Gendron brought trespassing charges against two illegal immigrants from Mexico after his officers stopped a van with a broken headlight. Several police chiefs in New Hampshire have suggested that they might pursue such tactics in the future.

The Mexican consulate has hired an attorney for Ramirez, fearing that a court may uphold the trespassing charges and so set a national precedent.

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