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Citizens for Limited Taxation

Our police officers and thus our police chief may very well be violating federal laws when they stop any illegal immigrant and do not turn them in to the US Immigration department.  Please read Title 8, Section 1324 and decide for yourself whether our own police are scofflaws.

In this case, they are getting paid overtime while using public property to explain to illegal residents what their rights are.  If they knew of one illegal resident in that meeting, they violated a federal law.

You may retrieve more information on this using Google and enter the phrase

Section 1324 Bringing in and harboring

Select the one tied to http://www.immigration.gov

Officers explain rights to illegals Friday, September 12, 2003
Craig MacCormack Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- In an attempt to quell fears among the town's Brazilian residents after recent arrests by immigration officials, police last night said random sweeps are not being done and are not planned.

Two weeks ago, officials from the Federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement came to Framingham to arrest and deport several illegal aliens who had overstayed their visas.

A uniformed Framingham officer accompanied the immigration agents, said Police Chief Steven Carl.  It is the only recent time federal immigration officers have come to Framingham, he said.

"They knew who they were looking for before they came to town," said Carl.  "There was nothing random about their visit or about the people they took with them."

That is not often the case with bounty hunters, or bond agents, Carl told a gathering of more than 50 people last night at Nevins Hall.  The session with police was hosted by the Brazilian American Association.

Brazilians hope to solidify their relationships with local police so their feelings of unfair treatment will subside, said association Chairwoman Veradias Freitas.

While police, sheriffs and immigration and customs officials have authority to take people into custody, bounty hunters do not, but often dupe unsuspecting people into thinking that is the case, Carl said.

"They're very tricky how they work," he said.  "They'll say they have papers for you and try to get you to come with them.  If you go voluntarily, shame on you.

"My suggestion is to shut the door and call 911.  We'll respond and we'll remove them," he said.

TNT: Fugitive Recovery Agency, a group based in Somerville, was in town a few months ago hunting down illegal immigrants on behalf of a California bond company.  They were hired to do so throughout the state.

They go to a home and surround it just in case someone tries to flee, head agent Tom Mariano told a News photographer.  They handcuff and bring their captures to immigration offices.

Bond agents wear military-style jumpsuits, much like those of the special operations officers, but the uniforms say "bond agent" on them, said Carl.  He recently told one bond company to stay out of town or face trouble.

"The bond agent I talked to said my interpretation of their rights was wrong, but they haven't been back since and they've yet to show me any legal document proving that," said Carl.

"If it's a customs agent, you have to go with them.  If it's a bounty person, just shut the door in their face and call 911.  If they take anyone by force, it's kidnapping," he said.

The wide-ranging session was called to help newcomers to the country learn what rights they have during their time on American soil.  Some believe falsely that local police are in cahoots with federal immigration officials.

"Even when we arrest you, we don't call immigration," said Carl.  We're police officers, not immigration officers."

Carl encouraged all unlicensed drivers to either not operate a car or get the proper documentation.  He is among several chiefs supporting a House bill making it easier for non-residents to get drivers' licenses.

"To arrest you for not having a license is a nuisance," he said, saying it takes about an hour to process the paperwork.  "We will do it, but we prefer to see the law change.  Everyone is treated the same.

"We only enforce.  We're not the policy makers," he said.

Mark Pelosky, who calls himself "The Immigrants' Attorney," told the crowd that Framingham's standards are not the same as those used in other towns.  He advised the audience to avoid activities that could lead to trouble.

"There's a difference between what you want to hear and what you need to hear," he said.  "Once you're in the criminal system, you are exposed to immigration officers."

Lt. Lou Griffith saw the session as valuable for both police officials and local Brazilians.

"We're trying to provide information so they can comply with the law," he said.  "We're not going to card everyone as they come in the door.  Hopefully, by meeting with them, we can ease their fears about the rumors they hear."

That seemed to be somewhat effective, although several who attended remained uncertain about their rights and whether their status or nationality makes them more likely to be targeted by police.

"It's very, very difficult to get a handle on how many people are here in Framingham illegally," said Griffith.  "But it's not only a problem here, it's a problem across the country.

"There's a solution, but it's not an easy one.  If it was easy, we'd have it figured out and it wouldn't be a problem anymore," he said.

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