Posted on May 4, 2005

Illegal Immigrant Pleads Guilty To Trespassing

AP, May 3

JAFFREY, N.H. — A man from Mexico pleaded guilty on Tuesday to trespassing in the town of New Ipswich, N.H., as the police passed the first test of whether they can use trespassing laws against illegal immigrants on public property.

Police Chief Garrett Chamberlain charged Jorge Ramirez, 21, with trespassing after federal immigration officials refused to take him into custody. He reasoned that if Ramirez was in the country illegally, he also was in the town illegally. Ramirez had admitted being in the country on forged documents.

There was some question about whether the judge would allow police to prosecute Ramirez for crossing international borders under a law more commonly applied to domestic disputes.

A New Ipswich officer arrested Ramirez last month after seeing his car stopped on the side of the road.

Ramirez was fined $1,000, but the judge said he won’t have to pay it if he reports to immigration officials in three days and stays out of trouble.

No immigration officials were in court this morning. Chamberlain said Ramirez could be deported.