Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rhode Island Governor Acts Against Immigrants

Rhode Island is getting into the local law act as well. The Associated Press reports:

By Linking the presence of undocumented workers to the state’s financial woes, Gov. Donald L. Carcieri signed an executive order that includes steps to combat illegal immigration. The order requires state agencies and companies that do business with the state to verify the legal status of employees. It also directs the state police and prison and parole officials to work harder to find and deport illegal immigrants. The governor, a Republican, said that he understood illegal immigrants faced hardships, but that he did not want them in Rhode Island. Under his order, the state police will enter an agreement with federal immigration authorities permitting them access to specialized immigration databases. Click here for the story.

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Comments

As a State employee in a large Human Service agency in RI and retired US Army soldier I have very strong concerns for the direction we are heading. Even though cuts in State government threaten my career, they are necessary. With that, so too is it necessary to explore other burdens on State government.

I have said time and time again, RI is the smallest state and therefore should be the example and leader not just for illegal immigration studies, but illegal / fraudulent public assistance and waiting periods to establish RI residency, not just US residency, to be eligible to receive State Public Assistance.

My theory is simple. If we make a modest family income of $85,000 per year with no children to support, we try to donate to church and other charities. Perhaps $3,000 to $4,000 per year or more, in good times. In hard times we reduce that charity to $1,000 to $2,000 per year. The same has to happen with the State of RI. We cannot afford to take care of everyone. We need a 12 to 18 month (min.) waiting period for anyone that is not a RI resident to receive any public benefit from the State. This deterrent, combined with other reduction of expenses should contribute greatly to reducing the budget deficit.

We should also give the companies that hire illegals a one-time amnesty which would include a workforce shift. By this I mean, you get caught as a company, the State would waive the penalties if that company replaced the illegal workforce with citizens that are on public assistance or unemployed. The company would be allowed under this State program to continue to pay the $5 per hour (if that was the rate it paid the illegal worker) and not be subject to possible future health care legislation for any worker hired under this program. Can you imagine the offset to our public assistance programs if these private companies were paying the $5 hour x 8 hours per day x 40 hours per week portion? Then multiply by the number of workers yielded (potentially) by the "shift".

The Executive Order is an emergency mechanism. The RI Assembly now needs to pass more detailed immigration legislation, which would include the Governor's Order and also target those areas that cost the State government the most money - first. The waiting period should be a first step. Remember - this would be for ANYONE, not just illegals.

Finally, when the word "illegal immigrant" is used, let's not forget the countless Yugoslav, Asian, African, and many other White / European and former Soviet block illegal immigrants. I never once saw the word "Hispanic" or "Latino" in the Executive Order or any other targeted format where the term "illegal immigrant" was used in potential lawmaking.

Good Luck Governor --
Ron Sanda - Sergeant First Class
US Army Reserve (Retired)

Posted by: Ron Sanda | Apr 5, 2008 6:54:20 AM

As a State employee in a large Human Service agency in RI and retired US Army soldier I have very strong concerns for the direction we are heading. Even though cuts in State government threaten my career, they are necessary. With that, so too is it necessary to explore other burdens on State government.

I have said time and time again, RI is the smallest state and therefore should be the example and leader not just for illegal immigration studies, but illegal / fraudulent public assistance and waiting periods to establish RI residency, not just US residency, to be eligible to receive State Public Assistance.

My theory is simple. If we make a modest family income of $85,000 per year with no children to support, we try to donate to church and other charities. Perhaps $3,000 to $4,000 per year or more, in good times. In hard times we reduce that charity to $1,000 to $2,000 per year. The same has to happen with the State of RI. We cannot afford to take care of everyone. We need a 12 to 18 month (min.) waiting period for anyone that is not a RI resident to receive any public benefit from the State. This deterrent, combined with other reduction of expenses should contribute greatly to reducing the budget deficit.

We should also give the companies that hire illegals a one-time amnesty which would include a workforce shift. By this I mean, you get caught as a company, the State would waive the penalties if that company replaced the illegal workforce with citizens that are on public assistance or unemployed. The company would be allowed under this State program to continue to pay the $5 per hour (if that was the rate it paid the illegal worker) and not be subject to possible future health care legislation for any worker hired under this program. Can you imagine the offset to our public assistance programs if these private companies were paying the $5 hour x 8 hours per day x 40 hours per week portion? Then multiply by the number of workers yielded (potentially) by the "shift".

The Executive Order is an emergency mechanism. The RI Assembly now needs to pass more detailed immigration legislation, which would include the Governor's Order and also target those areas that cost the State government the most money - first. The waiting period should be a first step. Remember - this would be for ANYONE, not just illegals.

Finally, when the word "illegal immigrant" is used, let's not forget the countless Yugoslav, Asian, African, and many other White / European and former Soviet block illegal immigrants. I never once saw the word "Hispanic" or "Latino" in the Executive Order or any other targeted format where the term "illegal immigrant" was used in potential lawmaking.

Good Luck Governor --
Ron Sanda - Sergeant First Class
US Army Reserve (Retired)

Posted by: Ron Sanda | Apr 5, 2008 6:54:49 AM

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