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Trespassing on a Public Street

by TChris

“Show me your papers.” Chilling words, long regarded as antithetical to a free society. But not in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, where the police have taken to charging undocumented aliens with criminal trespass. “Trespass,” in this case, means being on public property—an absurd stretch of a trespassing law.

Jorge Mora Ramirez was making a cell phone call from his car, which he’d stopped on the side of a road. That lawful activity shouldn’t have subjected Ramirez to a police encounter, but a local cop interrogated Ramirez and got him to admit that he didn’t enter the country through proper channels. The cop tried to get INS to take Ramirez into custody, but INS doesn’t have the resources to waste on undocumented immigrants who pose no threat to public safety. The clever cop then decided that Ramirez was trespassing, simply by entering the cop’s town.

"I wanted the federal government to understand that I was going to take some type of action," said New Ipswich Police Chief W. Garrett Chamberlain. "If I can discourage illegal aliens from coming to or passing through my community, then I think I've succeeded."

He’s succeeded in being a jerk, but not in enforcing the law fairly or reasonably. Chamberlain has arrested nine others in recent weeks for trespassing, simply because they’re in his town without papers showing they entered the country lawfully.

Ramirez’s lawyers moved to dismiss the charge, arguing that trespassing laws intend to penalize unwelcome entry to private property, not the use of public streets by undocumented aliens. They also complain—correctly—that enforcing immigration laws is the federal government’s job, not New Ipswich’s. The town’s lame response: ticketing undocumented aliens enhances national security. The judge rolled his eyes at the attempt to justify harassment as a security measure.

Noting that if found guilty, Ramirez would receive no jail time and only a $1,000 fine, the judge asked the prosecutor, "How is national security or even local security enhanced by giving someone a citation?"

The judge (again correctly) questioned whether it's his job to decide someone's immigration status. Undeterred by logic, the prosecutor pressed forward, making arguments that illustrate the absurdity of the town's position.

In his questions to the prosecutor about how such applications of the law would work, Runyon asked if foreign visitors could be detained if they left their passport at their hotel. Morse said foreigners would be expected to have the documents.

In other words: "Show me your papers." No papers, and you get arrested, whether or not you've entered the country through proper channels. Welcome to America!

The judge hasn't yet ruled on the motion to dismiss. The correct ruling is obvious: these ridiculous prosecutions need to be tossed. And if the Chief of Police wants to enforce federal law, he should join the FBI.

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  • Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#1)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    I don't carry any papers proving I entered this country legally, nor should I have to. "Ihren papieren,bitte" Sorry, don't have anything to prove you ain't an illegal alien? Gotta arrest you son, come with me. Oh, you were born here? Prove it. To be frank, son, I just don't like your face, and since you can't prove you did't enter the country illegally I am gonna drag your a$$ downtown.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#2)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Here are the first two grafs of the news story:
    One day in April, Jorge Mora Ramirez stopped his car on the side of a road in the small southern New Hampshire town of New Ipswich and was making a cell phone call when a New Ipswich police officer approached him. The officer questioned Ramirez, 21, a Mexican who acknowledged he was in the country illegally, and the New Ipswich police tried to get federal immigration authorities to arrest him.
    Why did the officer decide to approach and question him? If the actions of the officer are found legal, will all brown-skinned or dark-haired people be required to present visas or citizenship papers on demand?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#3)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    If the actions of the officer are found legal, will all brown-skinned or dark-haired people be required to present visas or citizenship papers on demand?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#4)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Sorry too quick on the post button. Seems like he's an activist, and there should be no room for that in law enforcement. Sorry, I like the idea of bringing the issue to the forefront, but I disagree with the method.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    I think this is one cop who has his badge confused with a crown...does he think he is lord chancellor of New Hampshire?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Patrick...well said. Perhaps this officer should run for office if he wants to make the law instead of enforcing it.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#7)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Kdog, If I read the article correctly the "Officer" is actually the chief, and depending on the local government, he may be elected. I can't say I'm that familiar with New Ipswich, New Hampshire. Hey, isn't that a clam?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#8)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    I am all for giving the INS the resources to deal with all illegals.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Also, do local officers really want to bother learning all the ways an immigrant or visitor can prove his or her legality? Whether to ask for an I-94 or an I-151? Or what if I showed you my work visa? Does that prove legal status? What if I've overstayed my visa but meet one of a long list of exemptions? Do local cops really want to have to become experts in immigration law? Is that a no, Chief Garrett?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    That's lovely, WEC, but this has nothing to do with the INS, and everything to do with racism in NH. The rightwing needed a good incident to dramatize its just-stated desire to require police agencies to do INS' work for them. Without a penny of additional funding. After all, unfunded mandates are SO republican.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#11)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    I lived in NH in the early 80's . After my wife and I got married I wanted to adopt her daughter who was biracial. The first two lawyers who met with us decided they were too busy. The third took it but after 8 months had made no progress. Moved to massachusetts and it got done in a couple of months by the first lawyer we talked to. Now in parts of NH they consider people from Conn. and Mass. foreigners ;-)

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    I live in a town that borders New Ipswich. When I first heard about this I mentioned it in one of my law school classes. A visiting prosecutor laughed his head off and said he thought Ramirez had a good case. Several other towns looked into doing this and were told by town counsels that they did not have the jurisdiction. Last year this same town's police department stopped a van load of Mexicans and made them kneel in the road while they were checked out. When INS didn't want them the police freaked out. Chamberlain has been waiting to do this ever since. Ironically, they all work in the area. Of course, we never hear which local construction companies they work for. Chamberlain is not elected, by the way. Until this happened he entertained himself by chasing teenagers on ATVs at high speeds down Main Street.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#13)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Classic blue state politics.... ;-)

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#14)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Kim, Thanks, I didn't know, some small towns in New York have elected town supervisors who serve as the police chief as well. So, is he the chief? and if so, how did he get there, and most important of all, isn't Ipswich a clam?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Gotta love the state slogan though, it's the best in the Union..."Live Free or Die". It seems that slogan may be empty rhetoric. Police can't say "papers please" and still call this a free society.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#16)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Fried Ipswich clams are devine, but that Ipswich is in Massachusetts.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#17)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    Oops! Divine.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#18)
    by jarober on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    TL again demonstrates amazing powers of confusion - which part of "illegal" in "illegal alien" are you having trouble with?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    JR..How does one deem someone's immigration status merely by looking at someone? This officer of the law is way out of line, asking for papers from people doing nothing wrong. That may be the type of country you want, with police accosting people for their "papers" with no probable cause of a crime, but not me babe. I like freedom. I know immigration is a big issue for you, but this ain't the way. Freedom above all else!

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#20)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    I don't have a problem with illegal aliens being treated as criminals, because they are criminals. I have a huge problem with cops pretending the law says what they want it to say, and ignoring things like the need for probable cause. JR, why don't you mind cops enforcing imaginary laws?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    I happen to live two town over from New Ipswich and have lived in NH for 5 years (after moving from Boston). NH is an extremely welcoming state to people of all races. This has nothing to do with racism, pure and simple. Since when is it so "racist" to detain people who are breaking the law? Give me a break. [This commenter is conditionally approved as I believe he's been previously banned.]

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#22)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Roy, IIRC the article didn't say what the probable cause or lack there of consisted of. I think local law enforcement has a place in the immigration business, but it's a small place. We should report those who are arrested for other crimes and are here illegally to the BICE or INS or whatever they call themselves this week. That's about the extent of it IMO

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    What was the PC for the other 9 arrests in his town and what were their ethnic backgrounds? Were the Polish, Russian, Ukraine, Italian? New Hampshire's Hispanic population is 1.7% total for the state. I guess it is easy to profile there.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#24)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    JL, I have no idea what it was, do you? Should we assume there was none or should we ask the question?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Patrick, when a woman is murdered, who is typically the first subject of the police investigation, would it be their intimate partner? Of course I am going to suspect that there is profiling occuring here, that suspicion is what will prompt an investigation into the matter. After all, if there is no suspicion of wrongdoing, why would anyone investigate anything?

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#26)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    IIRC the article didn't say what the probable cause or lack there of consisted of.
    Fair enough, I jumped the gun assuming the cop didn't have an appropriate reason to approach the alien in the first place. It's still alarming to me that he is pretending trespass law applies to public property. If the alien was detained while being cited (I'm not sure if it works like that) it borders on kidnapping.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#27)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Paul in LA:
    That's lovely, WEC, but this has nothing to do with the INS, and everything to do with racism in NH.
    Nothing to do with the INS? If the INS would have the budget and/or the will to enforce the laws, This dude would not have been in NH.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#28)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Patrick, when a woman is murdered, who is typically the first subject of the police investigation, would it be their intimate partner?
    I can't speak for you, but at first everyone is a suspect. Statistically, I think it's more likely to be an intimate partner, but I can't quote the specific numbers. Still, everyone with opportunity is suspect until cleared.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#29)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    P.S. I can picture Billy Crystal now... "The answer is Ipswich Clams." What was that moive? On the run or running scared or something like that.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Chamberlain approached him because he was brown. The father of one of my daughter's friends is a cop in another town. I tried to get him to say the arrest wasn't about race and he couldn't say it. All he could say was, "They don't belong here." Chamberlain got to be the chief because the board of selectmen or whoever hired him. There isn't much going on in New Ipswich. The biggest news there for the last year has been a fight over an electric sign. Chamberlain is practically wetting his pants that anyone knows his name. It isn't so much about racism as it is about being a small fish in a small pond. He wouldn't have been in New Hampshire if the local construction companies weren't interested in cheap labor.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#31)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    INS doesn’t have the resources to waste on undocumented immigrants who pose no threat to public safety. Nice try, counselor. However, several million citizens of another country who are in our country illegally poses a huge public safety problem. If you don't understand, go to the library and hit the history books. The fact that 58% of Mexicans think the U.S. Southwest is rightfully their property shows just how untrustworthy "liberals" are.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    The guy was on the side of the road making a phone call. He was approached and he produced forged documents. That may be enough. However, I can almost guarantee you if he had blond hair and blue eyes like everyone else in New Ipswich he never would have been asked for his identification. I can also guarantee you that the people he worked for voted for Bush and have at least one yellow ribbon on their cars. How do I know this? There are about 4 construction companies in the town he worked in (my town). All owned by Republicans.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#33)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Here's a little thought experiment for those not in the far-left: Let's say that 90% or more of American citizens decided that all illegal aliens need to leave or be deported, and let's say that the Bush administration supported this (rather than being opposed to drive the price of labor down as they are now). How could we deport all those people? What trouble could our poor, humble workers cause if they decided to fight? Would there be riots? Would we need to declare martial law? In other words, we can't do what we as a country might need to do because of these "harmless" illegal aliens. They've got us by the short and curlies. The left is good for creating artworks, crafts, writings, music, and the like. But, when it comes to thinking and making policy they can't be trusted.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#34)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    90% of all Americans will never decide to deport illegal aliens. They would have to start growng their own food and making elderberry wine in the basement and beheading their own chickens. Who would watch the children of the rich while the fathers are in the boardroom and the mothers are in the gym or at their Junior league meetings? Good God! Who would clean the toilets at the hotels where all the politicians stay? Those are the jobs that the "humble workers" do. That is the unwritten "policy" imposed by the ruling elite. The majority of the people on the left that are artists, craftspeople, and the like can't afford that lifestyle. Don't worry BMB, there won't be a revolt anytime soon.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#35)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    It's perfectly legal for a cop to approach someone on the side of the road, and California courts have ruled that it doesn't matter why the officer approached. As long as there is no detention it's consensual and you can even ask for and receive identification. Offering ficticious ID to a LEO is a crime in California and almost certainly is one in New Hampshire. You have the right to refuse to provide your identification and it's happened to me. When it does, you let the person walk off or you walk off.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Patrick, You are right, it is perfectly legal for an officer to do that. But trust me when I tell you that it almost never happens around here to a white person. I was parked in a no parking zone a couple of weeks ago. When the police stopped and asked me what I was doing, I told them I was waiting for my kids. They didn't ask me for any i.d. I could have been a kidnapper or a pervert. They just drove away. They never even got out of the car.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#37)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Kim, I hear what you're saying, and many people feel like you do, but there is so much left out. Circumstances that many people would naturally overlook or only notice subconsciously that go into what an officer notices during an initial contact. As for why he didn't ID you, he may have been in a hurry, he may have absolutely believed you based on the time, location, vehicle, manner of dress and any number of factors which seem totally innocent. You might be pretty and he wanted a closer look or was intimidated by you, or your confidence might have been high. He may have been in a good mood, bad mood or indifferent at the time. He's a human and not perfect or he could be a flat out racist and figured that since you are white, your were legal. I don't know but any number or combination of the former criteria, I think, are more likely than the latter. I sometimes talk to dozen's of people in a day and don't hardly any of them, and sometimes I ID most of them. Many times I just ask for a name and am satisfied with that, unless they give me something like Bud Weiser, or Barney Fife.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#38)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    "When it does, you let the person walk off or you walk off." That is flat out wrong. What happens then is they take you to jail on some trumped up excuse like 'vagancy' (apparently in NH it's 'trespassing'), and keep you in jail until they can 'verify' your identity. This involves a search, sometimes cavity search, fingerprints and mugshots. It happened to me in LA and in LV and in Indiana. Since I didn't have a ton of $$ or wish to stay in jail I produced my 'papers.' It may not be legal, but who has the time of $$ to wait until it goes to the supremes? see HIIBEL v. SIXTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF NEVADA, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, et al..

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Fascism -- just waiting for its opportunity to flourish.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#40)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Sailor boy, For you I might consider it...But alas, you're not worth my job.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#41)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Oh and by the way Hiibel's video was dissected at length at this very site in this Thread. But thanks for the link it pretty much supports what I said way back then.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#42)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Once again pat, I won't rise to your personal attacks, but I appreciate your honesty when you admit you target folks you don't agree with. Yes, I agree, everone should look at the video. A man sitting in his truck on private property refused to provide ID and was attacked by cops, and the supremes said that was a-ok. Thanks for proving my point.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#43)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Sailor, You have some twisted perception there don't you. I said for you I'd consider it, but you are right in one aspect, I don't agree with criminals and do target them. Hiibel wasn't on private property, he was on the side of the road. He was't attacked he resisted and was taken to jail. Of course the Supreme Court affirmed because the officers were right. Apparently you feel more qualified to judge the circumstances than all the courts that the case has gone through... You're a legend in your own mind.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    WEC: "Nothing to do with the INS?" Nothing to do with the INS because local police aren't the INS. "If the INS would have the budget and/or the will to enforce the laws, This dude would not have been in NH." If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolley car. Local police trying to fill the 'dangerous illegal immigrant' story hole in rightwing newspapers in order to suit preconceived SCAPEGOATING of non-whites -- that's racism in action. Blacks marrying whites -- that's lynching time in Ipswich, or Cow Tick, or whatever other cracker-barrel roach motel of a town that sheriff is keeping safe for white criminals. Maybe he hankers to be a REEVE. If you haven't seen 'Nothing But Trouble' get thee to the videostore. It has to be the final word on this thread -- and it even has two token Puerto Ricans, John Candy, and Demi Moore. Don't miss Dan Ackroyd's Renquist-imitation, and his penis-nose. Something for everybody!

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#45)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    patrick is correct, Hiibel was parked off the public roadway and not on private property. But he didn't resisit until the cop grabbed him for not producing ID. Once again proving my point that cops do not just "let the person walk off or you walk off." Patrick, you have written many personal attacks directed at me on this site, which I have generally ignored in favor of a cogent reply complete with factual links, but a racist statement like calling me 'boy' is beyond the pale. All this time you have defended what you consider the 'good' cops on this site. Now I understand just exactly what you think a 'good cop' is. Good night mister furman.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#46)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    The "F" in Furman should be capitalized. Yeah, you've been the perfect angel, and little ole me has just been picking on you. Whatever! How do you know you've won an argument with a liberal? They call you a racist. LOL

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#47)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    deleted

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#48)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    The "F" in Furman should be capitalized.
    Not to nitpick...but its Fuhrman with a big "F" for pleading the Fifth Amendment. Who always reminds me of the protagonist in the classic Dead Kennedy's reworking of "I Fought the Law".

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#49)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    Patrick: "How do you know you've a racist?" When you think you won an argument with a liberal while being a BIGOT."

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#50)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    Wow, talk about overzealousness...

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#51)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    An acquaintance told me this story. He ran a restaurant in the southwest US. On one occassion there was a raid and the mexican help who did not run away and could not prove they could legally work here were hauled off. The acquaintance who ran the place was not asked for such proof. Of course, he was white. And working here illegally -- he was here from Canada.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#52)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:13 PM EST
    OT, but "liberals" will stop calling those of the Right wing persuasion racists when they stop being and acting like one. I've lived in this country all my life and depending which anthropological school of thought you are from either my people have lived on this land mass for 12,000 to 44,000 yrs. and I can guarantee you that if I had been the person pulled over on the side of the road, using my cell phone this same officer would have requested my identification. And he would have assumed that I was Hispanic, which even Hispanics in my home state do. I don't mind as it is nothing to be ashamed of, but the cops in my town do the same thing. And Patrick would love you to believe that cops never profile. Yeah, right.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#53)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:14 PM EST
    While we're on the topic of illegal immigration, I'm still waiting to hear the rightwing racists complain about the harboring of Carriles, the Venezuelan terrorist, by Bush. He's an illegal alien, who snuck into the country with rightwing help. And a terrorist -- did I mention he was a terrorist? Or how about the storm of protest about another illegal alien, a cat named Schwartzenegger, who came on a tourist visa, worked for Weider on the contest circuit making good cash, reported none of his illegal earnings, and paid no taxes. That same illegal immigrant bragged on the Tonight Show that he and another bodybuilder further-damaged chimneys after the Northridge quake, in order to run repair bills up, and gouge the VICTIMS of the quake. Oh, he also stole an election and took TONS of special interest money, along with involvement in other scams, such as the business relationships behind his meeting with Michael Milkin and Ken Lay during the CA energy ripoff. So let's hear all the rightwing outrage about ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS like Carriles and Schwartzenegger. (crickets)

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:15 PM EST
    I think we can all agree that immigration status cannot be determined by skin pigmentation. If you think this cop was justified to ask for papers, you don't believe in freedom...it's that simple. A tell tale sign of a free society is a high crime rate. The alternative is tyranny.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#55)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:16 PM EST
    Kdog,
    If you think this cop was justified to ask for papers, you don't believe in freedom...it's that simple.
    A cop can ask for anything. The operable word being ask. You apparently don't believe in freedom either, unless it conforms to what you view as freedom

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:16 PM EST
    Ya got me Pat....a cop, like anyone else, can ASK for anything and is protected by the first amendment. I should have said "demand", sub "demand" and my comment stands.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#57)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:16 PM EST
    The point being that there's nothing to substantiate that the officer demanded the identification.

    Re: Trespassing on a Public Street (none / 0) (#58)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:18 PM EST
    I have been watching these cases with great interest. I think that the policy is clearly unconstitutional: having said that, the police officer in question approached the vehicle for a valid reason. The inspection sticker on the windshield had expired. (All cars in New Hampshire must pass inspection in order to be on the road.) The officer spotted the expired sticker and asked Ramirez for his driver's license and registration. From there, it all turned to worms. I am not saying the policy isn't racist, because it is. (To my knowledge, and I've been scrutinizing the newspaper accounts of each arrest, every person arrested under this theory has been from Mexico or Brazil. Chamberlain's desire to protect his town from "these people" sure seems to be related to the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character.) From a purely legal standpoint, however, the officer had a reason to initiate contact with the driver. God save us from illegal immigrants willing to build our homes.