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Small town cop makes big time

I've mentioned before New Ipswich, New Hampshire's police chief W. Garrett Chamberlain, who finds himself unexpectedly leading the fight against illegal aliens in New Hampshire.

As you may recall, Chief Chamberlain caught a van-full of illegal aliens, but was ordered to let them go by federal officials. He went looking for a way to deal with the problem, and hit upon a clever solution: he started charging illegal aliens with violating New Hampshire's "criminal trespass" laws. The idea garnered a lot of attention, mostly favorable: he's received a lot of praise, and at least one other New Hampshire police department has started following his example.

But he's had his detractors, too. The New Hampshire chapter of the ACLU has their collective knickers in a knot over his move, and the Mexican government (seeing a potential threat to the billions illegal aliens send back home every year) hired a lawyer to defend the guy Chamberlain arrested as a test case.

But now the big guns are being brought to bear. The Washington Post sent a reporter to New Ipswich, and he did his darndest to do a hatchet-job on the chief, his town, and the state in general.

In the opening paragraph, writer Michael Powell describes New Ipswich as "this tiny whitewashed New England town." And if there's any doubt that he's talking about the racial makeup of New Ipswich, he spells it out later: New Ipswich is 98.6% white, and New Hampshire as a whole is 96% white. Therefore, we all must be a bunch of racist, xenophobic hicks (we're a bit too far north for the "redneck" label), and the only reason we'd be so concerned about illegal aliens is because we really hate the dirty spics, darkies, and all them other filthy furriners.

Here's an alternative answer for Mr. Powell: immigration is largely an urban issue. New immigrants tend to go to where there are already established communities from their native land. They move towards cities, where they can form small enclaves within the larger populace. New Hampshire (in addition to a rather unhospitable climate) isn't overly urban. The three largest cities have a combined population of less than 200,000 people total.

The AP is jumping on the bash-the-enforcers bandwagon, too, labeling the whole process "sweeps." Note to the AP: none of these people have been stopped or arrested for "being an illegal alien." They've been stopped for traffic violations, and it's only after it's discovered they don't have a valid driver's license that their immigration status comes to light. We have yet to have massive "ve need to see your papers" roundups and stops on street corners.

I'm going to repeat my immigration-law mantra here: IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS, STOP WHINING AND ACT TO CHANGE THEM.

But that would require too much work. It would require them to actually do something productive. It's so much easier to simply criticize and tear down the efforts of others, and let things continue going down the toilet.

Thanks SO much, Washington Post and Associated Press. Hey, if you're not too busy, would you mind dropping off our white sheets at the dry-cleaners? They're still kinda sooty from our last cross-burning.


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Comments (26)

If he's pissed off the WaPo... (Below threshold)
Russ:

If he's pissed off the WaPo, the ACLU and the Mexican governmet, I'd say the good chief has hit the trifecta. Give the man a medal.

What the hell is up the wit... (Below threshold)
Grendel-999:

What the hell is up the with idiots posting in the comments section. If the detractors show up in mass, does that mean wizbanglogg.com has hit the big time? What's next, labeling this the white chritian blog site?

Right on Grendel. The high... (Below threshold)
toby928:

Right on Grendel. The higher the faux lefty trolls to broader the appeal, although why any one would work that hard to sound urban I don't know. Imagine how many rewrites it took to get that tone.

Tob

So he calls it a whitewashe... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So he calls it a whitewashed town and that means he's calling everyone in New Hampshire racist? Could he not be referring to the paint on the houses? And should a reporter writing a 1200 word story on immigration in NH not mention the ethnic/racial makeup of the population? Is that irrelevant? It's easy to attack people for things they don't say, but rather the intentions you imagine them to have.

How did Powell "do his darndest to do a hachet-job"? By quoting both Chiefs Chamberlain and Gendron several times, as well as citizens of their towns who support them? Do you actually have any substantive objections that article?

honduras, if you'd like to ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

honduras, if you'd like to continue this "discussion," please mind the language. I have deleted your prior comments. Further abuse will result in banning.

And presuming you actually had a point, the chief's problem (and mine) is not with Hispanics, but illegal aliens of any and all ethnicities. Please don't slander those who come here legally, or whose ancestors did, with those who spit on our laws.

J.

No Jay, leave the comments.... (Below threshold)
toby928:

No Jay, leave the comments. They speak for themselves.

Regarding the article, whats up (a little urban patois from me) with this state Rep. Hector M. Velez (D). Does he actually represent the views of his district? Don't enforce the law? I shudder.

Mantis, I don't think the article was more of a 'hatchet job' than one would expect from the exempt media. He did quote both sides, one sides says "I'm just doing my job" the other side just makes preposterious arguments. to wit: does anyone really believe, as Claire Ebel, executive director of the New Hampshire American Civil Liberties Union states that, "The Mexican government ... worry about vigilante police chiefs who will round up people based on the color of their skin." Really? I think that they worry more about losing their safety valve and remitted money.

The ACLU has been pretty mu... (Below threshold)

The ACLU has been pretty much discredited as far as immigration matters are concerned. See my posts at the Immigration Blog for more, see the immigration categories at my site for a large amount of information on this topic.

When posting newspaper articles like this, please also include contact information for the papers. In this case it's:

ombudsman *at* washpost.com
feedback *at* ap.org

The WaPo also has forums, but they aren't exactly front and center.

If you'd like to see better coverage of this topic, I'd suggest sending emails to:

public *at* nytimes.com
onlinenewshour *at* newshour.org

Please only send short, polite emails.

With certain papers or reporters you might want to try to shame them into doing a good job, or politely accuse them of being propagandists, etc. With other papers or reporters you might want to take a more friendly approach.

Grendel-999, since when did... (Below threshold)

Grendel-999, since when did the writers on this blog convert to Christianity?

Heh, I'm so tired I might have read that wrong, in which case I apologize. If not, then cram it where the sun don't shine.

SilverBubble,some ... (Below threshold)
John:

SilverBubble,

some of the comments in this thread appear to have been deleted so Grendel's comments may be out of context now.

Well, as a Hispanic man all... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Well, as a Hispanic man all I can say is....

Good for the Chief. I came to this country LEGAL and PROPER and EARNED my citizenship. I even served in the Air Force for 8 years in small part to say Thank You.

Being Hispanic I have had exposure to racism and I've been prejudged. It sucks but it usually doesn't take long to correct the misperceptions.

The Mexican government isn't concerned over the welfare of it's citizens. It's only concerned with getting them off its welfare dole and onto the US welfare system.

That being said, it would be nice if it were easier to get in at least for work permits etc. I think the Republicans are letting the immigration issue tick like a time bomb and it will blow in their face if they aren't careful.

Kudos to this chief and tho... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Kudos to this chief and those now following in his footsteps. It's awesome that he's not backing down. I'm sick of people defending these criminals. They are not American citizens, they are not afforded protections under our Constitution. This guy is tresspassing, plain and simple. Send him back!

And mantis, race has nothing to do with illegal immigration and it has no business being used in this article. The only purpose it serves is clouding the issue with backhanded charges of racism insinuating that these white towns are racist because they are so white and they don't want these other skin colors around.

John,After re-read... (Below threshold)

John,

After re-reading Grendel's comment, I think you're right. Again, I apologize.

race has nothing to do w... (Below threshold)
mantis:

race has nothing to do with illegal immigration and it has no business being used in this article.

It must be fun to live in fantasy land. What's it like?

Hey mantis, you mental midg... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Hey mantis, you mental midget, how about avoiding the snark (and then I'll avoid the ad hominem) and explain to me what race has to do with ILLEGAL immigration? Let me hear it your elloquent words of wisdom. I can't wait considering so many people are against illegal immigration, I'll guess they are all racists. Now who's living in a fantasy land?

(blah blah)... and expla... (Below threshold)
mantis:

(blah blah)... and explain to me what race has to do with ILLEGAL immigration?...I can't wait considering so many people are against illegal immigration, I'll guess they are all racists. Now who's living in a fantasy land?

You are still living in the fantasy land. Race is an issue in all immigration, legal or illegal. Being against illegal immigration doesn't make you a racist, and I never said it did. In fact I never mentioned racism at all, I merely pointed out that some background on race is relevant in a story on immigration.

Maybe you've just watched too much political correctness on TV and have forgotten that there is a real world out there where race is often an issue in immigration, employment, crime, abortion, and on and on. To pretend that it doesn't exist is foolish. Do you think race is an issue to any of the 96% of New Hampshire residents who are white? How about the 4% that aren't?

How about the legal immigrants in that state, who are part of a very small minority? In light of the recent spotlight on immigration in NH, will they have to do what many of my legal Arab and middle eastern friends were forced to do after 9-11 and loudly profess their love of the U.S., plastering bumper stickers on their cars and signs in store windows, simply out of fear of being attacked for how they look?

Race is an issue in this country, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, and the reporter was not calling anyone a racist, nor implying that people were racists, by providing background info on race in NH. Conservatives like you are just like liberals who see everything as racist, you just see everyone as calling you a racist, even when they're not.

Let me ask this: If an art... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Let me ask this: If an article were written about illegal immigration in California, and it mentioned that the state is 32% Latino/Hispanic, and 47% white, would that be calling people racist?

So, so true, mantis. Here's... (Below threshold)

So, so true, mantis. Here's yet another example of shocking xenophobia.

How about the legal immi... (Below threshold)
Mike:

How about the legal immigrants in that state, who are part of a very small minority? In light of the recent spotlight on immigration in NH, will they have to do what many of my legal Arab and middle eastern friends were forced to do after 9-11 and loudly profess their love of the U.S., plastering bumper stickers on their cars and signs in store windows, simply out of fear of being attacked for how they look?

Huh? No, it's a recent spotlight on ILLEGAL immigration. You're comparing treatment of Arabs here legally after 9/11 to illegal immigrants? One has nothing to do with the other. Your whole post tries to conflate legal with illegal immigration. They can not and should not be discussed in the same breath because one is for the benefit of our society and the other is a crime.

To say a state or town is 96% white in this story about an illegal immigrant offers nothing. Do you hear me, absolutely nothing. What's the background issue? Race? So what? Would it make a difference to you if New Hampshire were all black, yet still felt the same way about illegals?

Race may still be an issue in this country, but it sure as hell isn't going to go away with useless race statistics in an article about illegal immigration.

I thought SEN. John E. Sunu... (Below threshold)
Martin Knight:

I thought SEN. John E. Sununu (R-NH) is of Arab descent. Which would make his father, a former Governor of New Hampshire, also of Arab descent.

So, mantis, while I'm sure race may be a factor to some of the folks over there in 96% White New Hampshire, it ain't that much of one to the vast majority of NH citizens.

I agree with Mike. I belie... (Below threshold)

I agree with Mike. I believe the writer tried to paint a picture by announcing that NH was 96% white. And then using the term "white washed". Anyone who thinks it was relevent to the story is too willing to play the race card. The writer was the one who brought up race in this instance, not the police.

So Manits, saying that race is often an issue doesn't mean it is ALWAYS an issue. And even if it is an issue, it may not be with everyone. The issue here is illegal immigration, not race. I can be supportive of what this cop has done without even knowing what race the offenders are. It doesn't mean one is in "fantasy land". You're trying to make a point that is not relevent to the story.

So, Mantis -- if the issue ... (Below threshold)

So, Mantis -- if the issue were illegal immigration from Canada, would you be claiming it's a racial issue?

"...stop whining and act to... (Below threshold)

"...stop whining and act to change them"?

How about- stop whining [period] The laws keep us safe not to mention the tax issues, the insurance issues, the issues that you all ready know about so why am i listing them issues.

The reality is that- though I would love for these people to quit whining, the bigger issue is that they need to realize that we need these laws. They need to accept the fact that even though many illegal immigrants have nice qualities and I'm sure quite a few are quite cute and cuddly- they are still here illegally. And when you break the law you (should) go to jail. No matter how cute a cuddly you are.

Faith+1= excellent comments there. So I'll leave it at that.

As far as the "racist" issue- what point is there in bringing up the fact that NH is mostly white? The insinuation is that 'those nasty white people don't want no brown skins in their state- so they're abusing the law to do something about it.'

That in itself is a rediculous and a baseless argument. He should have addressed the issue at it's core instead of gassing about racial stats. If the Illegals were caucasian Europeans the result would and should be the same as it is with an illegal from Mexico.

I'm not claiming that it's ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'm not claiming that it's only a racial issue, or that it's primarily a racial issue, merely that race is at least somewhat relevant to the discussion, and the inclusion of race, among the other issues presented in the article, does not mean the reporter is implying that New Ipswich or NH residents are racist.

I thought SEN. John E. S... (Below threshold)

I thought SEN. John E. Sununu

Based only on his name, I'm going to guess that's Turkish for "of the water" or similar.

So why do federal oficial continue to allow illegal aleins to stay here?

Because they're corrupt. Yep, it's that simple.

Actually, the Sununus are f... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Actually, the Sununus are from Lebanon (the original one, in the Middle East, not the fake one in New Hampshire, where I'm from), and as I recall, the name means "little bird." Sununu Senior is regularly touted on lists of "prominent Arab-Americans."

J.

That is indeed what <a href... (Below threshold)

That is indeed what this says. However, just because someone's from Lebanon doesn't rule out one of their predecesors being from Turkey. In Turkish, 'su' means water, and I forget whether the rest means something or not. So, the name could be Arabic or some other language.

In any case, for something much more important relating to the larger issue of why our leaders won't stop illegal immigration and what they have in mind for us, see this:

...This trilateral approach should be institutionalized in a new North American Advisory Council. Unlike the sprawling and intrusive European Commission, the Commission or Council should be lean, independent, and advisory, composed of 15 distinguished individuals, 5 from each nation. Its principal purpose should be to prepare a North American agenda for leaders to consider at biannual summits and to monitor the implementation of the resulting agreements. It should be an advisor to the three leaders but also a public voice and symbol of North America. It should evaluate ways to facilitate economic integration, producing specific proposals on continental issues such as harmonizing environmental and labor standards and forging a competition policy...




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