The Boston Globe points out that the Ocean State has the same immigration enforcement policy as the one set up by Arizona’s SB 1070.
Rhode Island State Trooper Nuno Vasconcelos was patrolling Interstate 95 a few months ago when he came upon a two-car accident in heavy traffic. The trooper pulled up, stepped out of his cruiser, and asked one of the drivers for his license.
The man said he did not have a license, and under questioning, confessed that he was here illegally from Guatemala.
If the accident had happened 15 miles north in Massachusetts, the man would probably have been arrested for driving without a license, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 and 10 days in jail, then released pending an appearance in district court.
But in Rhode Island, illegal immigrants face a far greater penalty: deportation. 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.
Will President Obama next sue Rhode Island, as it is already suing Arizona, for cooperating in enforcing pre-existing federal laws?