Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rhode Island governor signs executive order targeting illegal immigrants

Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri has signed an executive order requiring prison officials and state police to identify illegal immigrants in state custody. It also requires that state agencies take other steps to penalize immigration violators.

The governor’s office said there is a growing number of illegal immigrants in the state, and the federal government is not taking action. The office said a recent report showed anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 illegal immigrants live in the Ocean State. Carcieri had previously said that the state can't afford and shouldn't have to pay for people who break the law.

Carcieri has also been considering proposals that would require employers to validate the identification of employees. 'By cracking down on the employer, you're basically saying if you want to work in Rhode Island, that's fine,' said Democratic Rep. Jon Brien said. 'But you have to do it legally.'

Carcieri also endorsed legislation introduced in the Democratic-dominated General Assembly that will accomplish the same goals as his executive order.

Other bills introduced into the legislature this year would make it a crime for state workers to issue state ID cards to illegal immigrants; would kick illegal immigrants off public assistance programs; would make it illegal to transport or harbor illegal immigrants; and would require law enforcement to notify federal authorities any time they arrest a suspected illegal immigrant.

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