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    Hey, Rhode Island Already Checks Immigration Status At Traffic Stops

    Hey, Rhode Island Already Checks Immigration Status At Traffic Stops

    Rhode Island is the new Arizona. No, actually, Arizona is the new Rhode Island.

    Despite the failure of the Rhode Island legislature to pass an Arizona-like immigration bill, Rhode Island already has implemented the critical piece of the Arizona law, checking the immigration status of people stopped for traffic violations where there is a reasonable suspicion, and reporting all illegals to federal authorities for deportation.

    As reported in The Boston Globe (h/t SoccerDad via TNR), R.I. troopers embrace firm immigration role:

    From Woonsocket to Westerly, the troopers patrolling the nation’s smallest state are reporting all illegal immigrants they encounter, even on routine stops such as speeding, to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE.

    “There are police chiefs throughout New England who hide from the issue . . . and I’m not hiding from it,’’ said Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, the towering commander of the Rhode Island State Police. “I would feel that I’m derelict in my duties to look the other way.’’

    Rhode Island’s collaboration with federal immigration authorities is controversial; critics say the practice increases racial profiling and makes immigrants afraid to help police solve crimes.

    This is too rich. Who would have thought that my home state, the state of Sheldon Whitehouse, is “racist” by the definition of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party?

    I can’t wait for Whitehouse to give a speech on the floor of the Senate associating the Rhode Island State Police with the “fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups.” After all, if racists oppose illegal immigration, then everyone who opposes illegal immigration must be a racist.

    But put racial politics aside.

    We have an issue of federal preemption, don’t we? Isn’t that why Obama has sued the State of Arizona?

    Sure, Rhode Island doesn’t impose its own penalties, but doesn’t Rhode Island’s enforcement of federal immigration laws complicate and overburden federal enforcement?

    Step up to the plate, Messrs. Obama and Holder, sue Rhode Island. Because we don’t have enough problems.

    Update: Ed Morrissey notes that Rhode Island didn’t bother passing legislation, in 2008 the Governor signed an executive order mandating immigration checks on all new state workers and ordering State Police to assist federal immigration officials. So why hasn’t Rhode Island been singled out by Obama? Morrissey writes:

    In fact, Rhode Island does exactly what Arizona belatedly decided to do, which is to get serious about immigration control and enforcing the law. The only difference is that Rhode Island began doing it before Barack Obama needed a distraction from a hugely unpopular ObamaCare bill and thought a fight over immigration would bolster Democrats in the midterms.

    Related Posts:
    Feds Sue Arizona – Complaint Here
    Gringo Mask – Yeah, This Should Work
    Sheldon Whitehouse Can’t Help Himself

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    Nathan, now that you know about the amendment does that make AZ's law seem principled too? And does that make the blacklash by D's to only AZ perhaps a might bit hypocritical? Also, considering the amendment, do you think it's perhaps disingenous for dems to argue as if the amendment doesn't exist and implying that AZ is pulling people out of their cars and demanding papers?

    I don't feel this is a racists matter at all. I'm white, live in Arizona, riased by my mexican step-dad and loved him dearly. I wouldn't have a problem with having to show my papers/visa going into another country. I certainly wouldn't feel like I'm being discriminated against should I be asked for them. We Americans have to do just that and most of us don't think twice about it. What is the big deal? If you are here leagally there is no reason to worry about it. If you want to live here, work here and raise your family here then become a leagal U.S. citizen.

    RI is checking immigration status by executive order which will be overturned by the next governor so you can stop getting all gushy over it. Arizona will be overturned in the courts and as soon as the november election is over there will be immigration reform with (GASP!) a path for citizienship to those here without papers. Choke on it

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