NEW: Illegal Immigration Issue Before Senate

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


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The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings today on the divisive issue of illegal immigration.

The bills considered were, according to an official Statehouse description:

2011-S 0214 – Sponsored by Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence), this bill would prohibit a landlord from asking the immigration status of a prospective tenant.

2011-S 0220 – Also sponsored by Senator Metts, this bill amends the requirements for identification and residency documents used to obtain a driver’s license so a person must provide a document with the applicant’s signature and two documents providing proof of residency in Rhode Island.

2011-S 0337 – This bill sponsored by Sen. Francis T. Maher Jr. (R-Dist. 34, Exeter, Charlestown, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich) would enact into law the provisions of former governor Donald L. Carcieri’s executive order requiring the use of the E-Verify program by state agencies. That order has since been revoked by the Chafee administration.

2011-S 0343 – Sponsored by Sen. Juan M. Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence), this bill would prohibit employers from requesting more documentation than legally required to comply with the federal employment verification code.

2011-S 0345 – Sponsored by Sen. Marc A. Cote (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield), this bill would require the use of the E-Verify system by Rhode Island employers.

2011-S 0347 – This bill sponsored by Senator Pichardo, called the “Immigrant Assistance in Crime Fighting Act,” would prohibit law enforcement from inquiring as to a complainant’s or witness’s immigration status to make it more likely that immigrants would report violations of state and local law.

2011-S 0632 – This bill sponsored by Sen. Bethany L. Moura (R-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) would require all cities and towns to participate in the Secure Communities program.

2011-S 0671 – Sponsored by Senator Maher, this bill would require the Division of Sheriffs to verify the immigration status of each incarcerated person presented to the court for any hearing.

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Photo credit: Sue Waters


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