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Another Unjust ICE Raid in Massachusetts. Another Insensitive Media Report.

ICE nets 15 illegal immigrants in raid

By Danielle Ameden, Milford Daily News staff GHS Sat Dec 08, 2007, 11:42 PM EST (http://www.milforddailynews.com/homepage/x540393013)

MILFORD - Federal authorities capped a criminal investigation by nabbing 15 illegal immigrants here Friday, a sting that has Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin saying it's "laughable" how immigration laws are being enforced.

Immigration Customs Enforcement officers arrested 14 people on civil charges for violating criminal laws, agency spokeswoman Paula Grenier said. Agents also arrested Daniel Tacuri, an Ecuadorian also known as Daniel Tacouri Llivichuscha who owns a roofing business at 44 Main St., on criminal charges, Grenier and O'Loughlin said.

"If they want to come out and get illegal aliens, they can come out any day of the week," O'Loughlin said. "It's pretty much they're focused on grabbing particular people."

The chief described listening in frustration as the U.S. undersecretary of homeland security spoke at a recent chiefs of police conference in New Orleans.

"He said all we want is the worst of the worst because that's all we can handle," O'Loughlin recalled. "Are they going to come to Milford and deal with illegal immigrants?

"No. They came for Tacuri because the view of Tacuri is he was bringing other illegal immigrants here and putting them in business."

Tacuri will face a U.S. District Court judge during an upcoming immigration hearing, Grenier said, but declined to explain the case, referring a reporter to a U.S. district attorney's office spokesman who did not return a call yesterday.

The other 14 suspects will face a federal immigration judge, Grenier said. All those arrested are in lockup pending the outcome of their cases, she said.

Milford police met ICE agents at Burger King just after 4 a.m. before the officers barged through the doors at 21 Jefferson and 44 Main streets. Local officers assisted simply to support ICE and keep the peace, O'Loughlin said.

During the sweep, Milford Police arrested Michael John Robinson, 40, a local homeless man who was living in Tacuri's office, O'Loughlin said. Robinson was wanted on a warrant out of Seekonk charging him with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, the chief said.

The names of the 14 illegal immigrants arrested were not available yesterday.

In May, a Worcester Housing Court judge granted a preliminary injunction against Tacuri, identified in court documents as Tacouri Llivichuscha, ordering him to clear out his illegal "rooming house" at 21 Jefferson St. In March, town inspectors found 11 bedrooms in the three-family, three-floor house, which is supposed to have six bedrooms, according to assessors records.

"He and his brother were bringing other people into this community from Ecuador, setting them up in business," O'Loughlin said. "It's been going on for years. His brother went back to Ecuador. He did very well."

With illegal immigration running rampant in these parts, the presidential campaigns heating up and the issue in the news with former Gov. Mitt Romney allegedly having employed illegal immigrants, O'Loughlin said it's high time for Congress to crack down.

"The conservative estimate is there's 12 million illegals in the country," but only 37,500 beds nationwide for immigrants in custody, he said.

"Do the math, it's not very good," O'Loughlin said. "Frankly, immigration in the United States, it's laughable ... Shame on Congress, that's basically where it lies."

When ICE comes out for a sting, that's a good start to combating the problem, the chief said.

"I'm prohibited by state law from enforcing federal laws so I really shouldn't be involved with the issue of immigration," he said. "(ICE) has the responsibility to do that."

The chief calls the agents "professionals" and works cooperatively with them, but gets flustered when he hears their side of the story - one that won't help the illegal immigration situation in Milford.

"They'll lock up one, they'll leave three ... I've had the agent say to me personally they're all illegals. We're not going to take them because there's nowhere to put them," the chief said.

"That'd be like me pulling over a car with four bank robbers and saying I only have room for one of them," he said. "You scratch your head and say 'This system is crazy."'

Danielle Ameden can be reached at 508-634-7521 or dameden@cnc.com.