Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rhode Island going soft

Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee repeated a pledge yesterday to rescind an executive order on illegal immigration, but his office said he is discussing with State Police whether they should ask for immigration papers when there is reasonable suspicion that a person is in the United States illegally.

The order signed by Governor Don Carcieri, a Republican. sparked outrage in the immigrant and minority communities in part because it instructed State Police to check the immigration status of suspects in the course of investigations.

Chafee spokesman Mike Trainor said State Police want to cooperate with immigration authorities, and Chafee will discuss with them how best to do that. When asked whether police will still ask people for their immigration papers once the order is rescinded, Trainor replied: “That’s at the heart of what we’ll be discussing with the State Police.’’

Chafee’s pledge to rescind the order had been key to winning Hispanic support, an important demographic in Providence, which Chafee, an independent, carried comfortably in this month’s election.

Doris De Los Santos — head of the Rhode Island Latino PAC, which endorsed Chafee and worked for his election — said she understands that Chafee must be open to sitting down with different groups to discuss his positions. But she called for Chafee to adhere to the spirit of his promise to rescind the order.

“We really hope that the same spirit that moved the governor-elect to decide [the executive order] was a divisive action and one that wasn’t fruitful for the advancement of us as a community and as a state, that that would be the same driving force behind any other discussions related to the same issue,’’ she said.

Among the other provisions of the executive order that would be rescinded is one that requires the state and state contractors to use a federal database to confirm the immigration status of all new hires. The federal government and its contractors are required to use the database, and its use is required to some extent in 13 states, including Rhode Island.


Effective border control must be supported -- even by supporters of concessions for illegals

A study by Zogby, commissioned by the Center for Immigration Studies, found that the view of minority voters on the issue of immigration is more complex than advocates believe. 61% of Hispanics think that immigration enforcement is inadequate. 70% of blacks and 69% of Asians harbor the same sentiment. These voters disagree with the leadership of immigration advocacy groups who oppose enforcement measures. There is a gap in perception between what minority voters want and reality. They want enforcement and less immigration. Immigration advocates who beat down every proposed enforcement measure are offering their own personal opinion, not those of the voters and their communities. The majority of Americans support enforcement and oppose amnesty. Voters sent to congress, lawmakers who have expressed anti-immigration views. And this includes such high profile Hispanics as Suzanna Martinez and, Brian Sandoval, governors–elect of New Mexico and Nevada, respectively, and senator-elect Marco Rubio of Florida, all of whom are Hispanic and, all of whom are strong supporters of immigration enforcement. In fact, governors-elect Martinez and Sandoval both support the Arizona immigration law, SB 1070, and other measures to tamp down on illegal immigration.

Surveys and polls on this issue are unequivocal. Pulse Opinion Research LLC in 2009 found that 78% of Americans oppose amnesty and 88% of blacks do. Rasmussen Reports in a survey in June of 2009, found that 71% of Americans want those who hire illegals arrested and, 64% support surprise raids to arrest illegal workers. The American Council for Immigration Reform in its 2009 survey found, that 78% of Americans believe immigration has a negative impact on the cost and quality of health care and other social services. It found that 78% opposed amnesty. And CNN/Opinion Research Corp. in its poll reports, that 73% of Americans called for a drop in the number of illegal immigrants. Even more telling is a Washington Post/ABC News poll which found that 74% of the electorate thinks the government is not doing enough to keep illegals from coming into the country. Even Sheriff Joe Arpaio, notorious for his round up of illegal immigrants in Arizona polls show, is viewed favorably by the majority of Americans who believe that his policies have a positive impact on Arizona’s image. Across the board, according the Rasmussen Poll (May 2009) Americans are not in favor of making life any easier for illegal immigrants. Immigration advocates must deal with this reality.

Americans have made their feelings manifest. They are not about to ease up on illegal immigrants whom, rightly or wrongly, they blame for some of the nation’s ills. But as a people, Americans are mindful of the fact that ours is a country of immigrants. They would support an orderly system of immigration which grants relief to those already here; provided they are assured they will not be asked to grant amnesty again in 10 years to more illegals who slipped through our porous borders. They want the problem solved once and for all.


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