Michael Denice: Illegal Immigration, Crime Top Issues

Milford, MA Patch
By Mary MacDonald

Editor's Note: Michael Denice, a candidate for Milford Selectman, hosted local reporters at his home on Thursday to discuss his background and position on issues. What follows is a short excerpt from the interview. Next week, Milford Patch will publish separate stories focusing on both Denice and Dino DeBartolomeis, the incumbent selectman who is seeking re-election. Denice is hosting a "meet and greet" at his house, 22 Debbie Ln., from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday for anyone who wants to ask him a question or share a concern.

Michael Denice may be best known in Milford for a tragedy involving his late brother, Matthew Denice, who was killed last summer after he was struck on his motorcycle by an alleged drunken driver. The death galvanized opposition in Milford to illegal immigration, because the Ecuadorian man charged in the crime is living in the U.S. illegally, had been arrested previously, and has lived in Milford for at least five years.

But Denice, 26, said Thursday he is not a sole-issue candidate, that he doesn't want "a sympathy vote," and he doesn't think immigration will be the deciding issue in the race. Illegal immigration and crime, along with the casino proposal, he said, are the top issues facing Milford, but he said voters will likely decide between the two candidates based on several matters.

Denice is running against a 30-year incumbent, Dino DeBartolomeis.

Milford Selectmen, he said, can have influence over enforcement of illegal immigration by wielding more public pressure than they have to date, he said.

"The Board of Selectmen has a responsibility to provide a safe place here in Milford for the residents," he said.

He decided to enter the race, he said, because he had always been interested in public policy, and felt the selectmen were not being responsive in addressing illegal immigration.

"Massachusetts is a safe haven for illegal immigrants because of our relaxed laws," he said. "In Milford, if enough pressure was put on the issue, it would drive them to another town, as terrible as that sounds."

On Feb. 28, state legislators will take testimony on a bill that would strengthen responses to illegal immigration. A member of the Denice family expects to attend, he said.

FBI raids Oregon home in Arpaio death threat*|*U.S. Open Borders