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Gingersnap
05-20-2010, 12:31 PM
Rhode Island lawmaker files bill that follows Arizona immigration law

01:00 AM EDT on Thursday, May 20, 2010

By Karen Lee Ziner

Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE –– State Rep. Peter G. Palumbo, saying that he’s “fed up,” and “we’re all under attack” by illegal immigrants, has filed a bill mirroring a controversial Arizona law that is considered the toughest immigration legislation in the country.

Palumbo’s bill, like the Arizona law, gives local police more authority to question and arrest illegal immigrants. It makes failure to carry immigration documents a state crime, and requires police to question people “where reasonable suspicion exists” that the person is unlawfully in the United States. The bill, H 8412, also targets people who hire illegal immigrants, or who knowingly transport them.

Much of Palumbo’s bill is taken verbatim from the Arizona bill, SB 1070, signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer last month, over the objection of President Obama. It would put in place far stricter controls than Palumbo’s previous unsuccessful attempts, or Governor Carcieri’s controversial 2008 executive order cracking down on illegal immigration.

Palumbo, a Cranston Democrat, had stated he had no plans to file such legislation this year. But he changed his mind last week as opposition to the Arizona law — including a spreading economic boycott and legal challenges — continued to mount.

“What pushed me over the edge was, when I heard the mayor of San Francisco and mayor of L.A. chastising the governor [Brewer] for her efforts, I just snapped. When they said they’re going to economically boycott one of their sovereign states — that’s what did it,” Palumbo said.

“We’re all under attack, basically,” he said. “People are coming in from all our borders and they’re coming in quickly. Everyone agrees something needs to be done … I’m trying to show the people in Arizona that there are more people in support of them, than against them.”

Projo (http://www.projo.com/news/content/RI_ARIZONA_05-20-10_IRIIC9J_v20.8b59e50.html)