Friday, August 12, 2005

Breaking news: Trespass prosecution of illegal immigrants ruled unconstitutional

Trespassing charges against a group of illegal immigrants were dismissed this afternoon by a judge in New Hampshire.

Disagreeing with two small-town police chiefs who applied the state law because they said they were frustrated by lax federal enforcement, the judge ruled that β€œthe criminal trespass charges against the defendants are 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 are sufficient.” Read the decision here.

The police chiefs in New Ipswich and Hudson were praised by many law enforcement officers nationwide for their novel approach to homeland security. But lawyers for the immigrants argued that only the federal government has the power to regulate immigration, and that the state law was designed to apply to people intruding on private property.

The immigrants, most of whom were from Mexico, were cited by police during traffic stops this spring after they produced fake identification and admitted they were in the country illegally.

Read the New Hampshire Union Leader story here.

And see previous post here.


At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Jenny said...

Dear Ms. Dowd,

I have a question to ask you, but couldn't figure out a way to reach you. Is there an email address I can use? Please let me know!

Jenny Gottstein

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Jacqueline Dowd said...

You can e-mail me at


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