February 29, 2008

An Anvil to Break the Camel's Back

Justin Katz

This press release put out by Immigrants United the General Assembly, announcing a campaign of legislation, is a jaw-dropper:

-(2008 - H7967), by Representative Segal, which ensures a person's race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or lack of English language proficiency shall not constitute reasonable grounds for the police to inquire into a person's immigration status. And furthermore forbids local enforcement by Rhode Island police of federal immigration law.

-(2008 - S2556) /(2008 - H7660), by Senator Levesque and Representative Segal, which makes sure that all protections, rights and remedies available under the law for labor, employment, civil rights and housing, are available to all individuals in Rhode Island regardless of immigration status.

- (2008 - H7871), by Representative Diaz, which makes sure that all children who go through and graduate from Rhode Island's high schools, qualify for in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status.

- (2008 - S2487), by Senator Levesque, which ensures that the roads will be safer for all Rhode Islanders by allowing every qualified driver to obtain a driver's licenses regardless of immigration status. Allowing all who need to get to work and take care of their families to register their vehicles, have insurance, and prove their identity through proper ID.

- (2008 - S2735) /(2008 - H7700), by Senator Metts, Senator Pichardo and Representative Slater, which prevents discrimination in housing by making sure that landlords are not permitted to guess or inquire into the immigration status of a tenant or potential tenant.

- (2008 - H7660), by Representative Segal, which prevents discrimination in employment by making sure that employers are not permitted to demand any additional documentation other than what's already required by federal law.

- (2008 - S2689) /(2008 - H7922), by Senator Goodwin and Representative Dennigan, which makes sure the Department of Human Services provides appropriate interpreter services.

- (2008 - S2499) /(2008 - H7600), which allows complaints of labor law violations to proceed when an employee is rendered unavailable to pursue remedies on his or her own.

- A resolution opposing implementation of the Basic Pilot / E-Verify program.

-(2008 - H7875), by Representative Diaz, which ensures all children in Rhode Island have access to healthcare regardless of immigration status

I submit for your consideration the notion that a political grouping — be it a nation, a state, or a town — is heading toward death throes when its own leaders endeavor to make "sure that all protections, rights and remedies available under the law for labor, employment, civil rights and housing, are available to all individuals... regardless of immigration status." Protected by a wall between local law enforcement and the federal government and bars against residents' considering immigration status when making decisions concerning potential employees, tenants, and so on, illegal aliens have access to the full slate of citizenship, right down to in-state college tuition and easy access to drivers' licenses, with the added perk of freedom to receive public services with no pressure to learn English.

What, one wonders, would it even mean to be a citizen of this state? Would it bring any benefits whatsoever, or just burdens?

Rep. Grace Diaz (D, Providence) offers us the service of illustrating just how dense these legislators are:

Everyone working in Rhode Island makes our economy stronger by paying taxes, buying locally and investing in local resources," said Representative Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence). "Our state benefits from ensuring that all Rhode Islanders have access to opportunity, work and the protections of Rhode Island labor law."

Representative Diaz, the sponsor of 2008-H 7871, said that it's a documented fact that college graduates have increased opportunities for economic success, and when a Rhode Island graduate succeeds, Rhode Island succeeds.

No, Ms. Diaz. When Rhode Islanders graduate from college, they leave. The state is drowning under the weight of ignorant, dangerous, legislative testimonials to policy makers' vanity, and there is no opportunity here for those who wish to follow the rules toward independence and success, and a left-leaning species of parasites is seeking to recruit a dependent army on whose shoulders to float.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

These leftist legislators seek to destroy not only the sovereignty of Rhode Island but of America. They are far more dangerous to us and our way of life than al Qaeda. They are our genuine enemies and need to be treated as such.

Posted by: Tim at February 29, 2008 7:19 AM

Vaya con Dios.

Posted by: phil at February 29, 2008 7:34 AM

This is an amazing betrayal of their constituents, the state and their oath of office.

Dan Yorke made a very good point yesterday. When a well intentioned caller said something about trying to make both sides happy on this issue, he said, you can't make both sides happy.

He's right. Nor should we try. There is a clear right and wrong in this matter. The Singleton/Brien et al bills are right. These bills are completely wrong.

Posted by: Monique at February 29, 2008 8:18 AM

Hopefully this ridiculous attempt at legislation will be the wakeup call needed for all of Rhode Islands' CITIZENS to demand that their legislators vote against these subversive bills and vote in favor of any bills aimed at correcting the abomination of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION in our state.As many as 100,000 Illegals Aliens living in our state and our population is still 1 million,what does that reveal ?

Posted by: leprechaun at February 29, 2008 8:42 AM

The good news is that these are the same half dozen neo-Communist legislators whose bills are used for toilet paper by the leadership.

Posted by: Mike at February 29, 2008 8:59 AM

This thread is full of name calling and hate mongering. I find such unsubstantiated words and phrases as "more dangerous than al quaeda", "betrayal", "subversive bills", and "neo-communists" perfectly suit Justin's insane rant that the legislators cited are "left-leaning species of parasites". No where in the thread is a reasoned argument presented.
If you want to make a case you have to do better than to stick your tongue out and blow raspberries. Grow up a bit, calm down, and let us reason together.

Posted by: Richard Tuoni at February 29, 2008 10:16 AM

--"Everyone working in Rhode Island makes our economy stronger by paying taxes, buying locally and investing in local resources ..."

Please explain to me how a $10,000 / yr. janitor or hotel housekeeper getting $14,000 / yr. in RIteCare plus $15,000 / yr. education for each of their anchor babies is "paying taxes"?

Classic "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need [notwithstanding immigration status]."

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at February 29, 2008 10:52 AM

I was going to respond, but I just broke a rib laughing at the xenophobic rhetoric contained above.
You can either let it ruin your day, or you can laugh at it.

Posted by: rhody at February 29, 2008 11:04 AM

Who are their constituents exactly? It's certainly not us. All this bill does is protect illegal aliens from the law as it is, and treat the rest of us like we don't have to pay for consequences of their insanity. Actions have consequences; quite often unintended ones. They want to create in essence, a sanctuary state.

I'm half surprised that they didn't introduce a plan to let illegals vote, because they certainly seem to be doing enough pandering. "Dull" doesn't even begin to describe this crew. They're like the four horses rear-ends of the apocalypse.

I guess the only "bright" spot, is that the speaker will probably let this die in committee, because it's even too absurd for him to consider backing in an election year.

Posted by: Will at February 29, 2008 11:06 AM

Will, they allow illegal aliens to vote every day they fail to pass a voter ID requirement.

Posted by: Greg at February 29, 2008 12:01 PM

"Sin verguenza. Pero con huevos muy grandes." Ask Gra Diaz what it means...

Posted by: John at February 29, 2008 2:13 PM

--"I was going to respond, but I just broke a rib laughing at the xenophobic rhetoric contained above. You can either let it ruin your day, or you can laugh at it."

Yeah, sure Rhody. I love the way you liberals ascribe nefarious intent to everyone who doesn't agree with you (xenophobia; racism; sexism; homophobia blah blah blah).

Did it ever occur to you that people of good faith can object to our State encouraging lawbreaking and de facto turning ourselves into a satellite welfare office for the Republics of Mexico and Guatemala?

Too bad you liberals are afflicted with common-sense-ophobia.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at February 29, 2008 2:16 PM

Nice with the word "xenophobic". Not only does it demonstrate a complete lack of counter argument, it is not even an accurate adjective.

Real xenophobia would be closing our borders completely. I have yet to hear anyone advocate that; in fact, just the opposite.

All we are asking is that people obey our laws and follow our procedures if they wish to move here. Name me any other country which does not require this of its immigrants.

Posted by: Monique at February 29, 2008 2:36 PM

Why don't we just pass a bill that states that everyone stopped for an offense has to be asked what their citizenship status is? That way we won't be profiling!

Posted by: Bob at February 29, 2008 3:20 PM

--Why don't we just pass a bill that states that everyone stopped for an offense has to be asked what their citizenship status is? That way we won't be profiling!

Great idea!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at February 29, 2008 4:02 PM

I believe in compromise if it can help attain a greater good. I believe attempting to see another's point of view is always worth the effort. But when push comes to shove- I will side with the recent arrivals and support their struggle over the Anchor Rising crowd and their whining, complaining sense of entitlement. And I would like to add the Narragansett Indian Tribe to my support group.

Posted by: David at February 29, 2008 5:35 PM

Do these femalibs have any idea how many rank and file Democrats agree with us on this issue? This most certainly is not a Democrat/Republican issue. It's an American/anti-American issue.

Posted by: Tim at February 29, 2008 6:03 PM

--"But when push comes to shove- I will side with the recent arrivals and support their struggle over the Anchor Rising crowd and their whining, complaining sense of entitlement."

Please explain whatever is the "struggle" that is being experienced by these "recent arrivals" AND what it is about the "Anchor Rising crowd" that constitutes "whining" and "sense of entitlement."

From where I'm sitting, you have the perspectives reversed. People who broke into this country (a/k/a "recent arrivals") are whining about others who want the laws on the books enforced, and have a sense of entitlement that now that they're here they're entitled to (among other things) drivers licenses (which are a privilege and not a right); "social services"; education and health care - all at the same levels afforded U.S. citizens and LEGAL immigrants.

Oh, and did I leave out their apparent sense of entitlement to a blanket amnesty for their lawbreaking?

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at February 29, 2008 10:23 PM

Well said.

Posted by: Monique at March 1, 2008 8:00 AM

This legislative attempt at filling a void left by the lack of federal enforcement and federal responsibility is necessary to protect citizens and non-citizens in R.I.. As to the reasons for the federal failure to restrict entry one does not have to look any farther than the incompotent who resides at the White House. Cheap labor in the U.S. appeals to the employers. Lack of work in home countries draws workers. The process for citizenship does not allow for the numbers of those who wish to immigrate legally. The states have had to deal with the consequences of having many newly arrived living and working without protections . I think most of us understand that mass deportation is totally unworkable so we are left with the current situation. I think this attempt by legislators to address this situation is right even if it grants a defacto citizenship to some.

Posted by: Phil at March 1, 2008 8:16 AM

Mere ruse, Phil.

If the state is compensating for a void from higher up, why explicitly forbid our police from assisting the feds? Why make Rhode Island an especial beacon to those who've crossed into our country illegally?

Yes, mass deportation is impossible, particularly if we're going to all but forbid it legislatively, but the creation of incentive not to burden Rhode Island is most definitely achievable.

Posted by: Justin Katz at March 1, 2008 8:22 AM

I most certainly have a "sense of entitlement". As an American citizen, I believe I am entitled to a government that fairly and equally enforces its laws, and operates primarily in the best interests of its citizens. Too much to ask?

Posted by: mikeinRI at March 1, 2008 8:26 AM

Not all of the legislation is subvervsive,such as Se.Metts' bill on housing discrimination,which doesn't strike me as a bad thing-why turn landlords into immigration officers?That said,the bills by Rep.Segal and Sen.Levesque are designed to cripple the law enforcemnt system in Rhode Island by shutting down lines of communication between ICE and police and documenting people here illegally with licenses which are used for much more than driving a car.The fact that Levesque,an attorney/lawmaker and Segal, a lawmaker if not an attorney can attempt to make the laws of the United States ineffective in this state and actually suborn the harboring and concealment of illegal aliens,a felony under 8USC1324 is disgusting and clear evidence that these individuals are unfit for public office.This panoply of bills is by and large a declaration of war by the left wing of the General Assembly against the rule of law in this state.I saw a statement by Pat Crowley to the effect that the immigration laws of this country are unfair and thus not to be respected-I don't give Crowley high marks for clear thinking at any time but this is ridiculous-if you don't like a law ,just violate it,as long as you think you are being morally superior.What bullshit.Under that mode of thinking we could engage in totally unrestrained dangerous behavior with zero consequences.If you ask these same scumbag legislators about your right to defend yourself they will tell you the 2nd amendment doesn't apply to individuals.As far as I'm concerned they can all go to hell.

Posted by: joe at March 1, 2008 9:03 AM

Justin I seem to remember that it was Roger Williams that founded R.I. as a beacon for religous and cultural tolerance. He had escaped from the restrictive and conservative Massachusett Bay colony . The newly arrived R.I. founder was welcomed by the state's residents and the rest is as they say is history. I am pleased that the place I call home has tried to be a just and compassionate society and continues to welcome new people here and offers opportunities for them and their families. Bishop Tobin , Mayor Laffey and many other Rhode Isladers agree with this sentiment. AS to the local police not cooperating with the federal law enforcement agencies on immigration all I can do is point to the lack of coherent federal policy leaving tough decisions to the States.

Posted by: Phil at March 1, 2008 10:06 AM


I guess the real issue is to whom you would like to be just and compassionate to. If you were trying to be just and compassionate to legal residents of RI you wouldn't allow illegal immigrants to break our laws, take our jobs and drive down our wages, drive up our taxes by utilizing ous schools, hospitals, welfare system, food stamps, housing, etc.

You cannot be fair and compassionate to all sides here, unfortunately. You have to pick sides. As a struggling middle class father of two I have my hands full right now supporting my own family. I don't feel I need to support an entire class of people who are here illegally and soak up a disproportionate percentage of taxpayer resources because they are less educated, less skilled, and/or less responsible than I am.

If you want to donate to their cause go right ahead and do so. But what right does anyone have, as an advocate of such policies, to reach into my pocket with the full force of the government and take the hard earned money that I would rather have spent on my own children and on their future? Where exactly is the campassion in that?

Posted by: Frank at March 1, 2008 10:34 AM

Frank Thank you for your thoughtful response. I understand the burden placed on the state's residents in regards to immigration. I do not feel as though I need to pick sides when it comes to justice and compassion. My point is that the state's elected legislators are trying with these bills to provide the tools for a just and compassinate society including those who have come to work and live in the absence of a coherent federal policy. Furthermore the U.S. polcies in Central America have been anything but just and may have created many of the economic and political problems that lead to increased immigration to the U.S. and R.I.

Posted by: Phil at March 1, 2008 11:11 AM

You're dodging, Phil.

I'm of a growing group that finds that Rhode Island does not offer "opportunities for them and their families." Witness the outflow of working-to-middle class families.

You simply cannot turn Rhode Island into a beacon for the oppressed of Central and South America without hurting citizens of the United States of America within its borders. Our state does not have the resources, and the more of us you drive out, the fewer of them you'll be able to accommodate. These proposed policies are fantasies --- delusions. And dangerous.

Posted by: Justin Katz at March 1, 2008 11:34 AM

You have got to be kidding: "The process for citizenship does not allow for the numbers of those who wish to immigrate legally."

The process is designed to stem a massive, unmanageable inflow that the country cannot support.
Your comment is no more ridiculous than one I would like to make - "The process of taxation does not allow for me to keep as much money as I would like. Therefore I will just stop complying with it and pay no taxes."
It is a slippery slope you liberals are going down. You are moving us towards anarchy.

Furthermore, Phil, this comment of yours is laughable: "I do not feel as though I need to pick sides when it comes to justice and compassion"

Whether you "feel" it or not, you are doing it by siding with illegal aliens. And that in a nutshell, is why you liberals are repsonsible for so many of the problems in today's society - you are prone to the emotional, at the expense of the logical.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at March 1, 2008 11:58 AM

Follow the money.

Crowley and his union is counting on the continuing flow of illegals and anchor babies to keep their members employed, and Crowley's paychecks coming.

Crowley (and Kate Brewster and the rest) takes their "social justice" to the bank.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at March 1, 2008 2:44 PM

Mike C If you want to have a contest over whose comment is the most ridiculous I'll decare you winner. I'm aware that massive unmanaged immigration has an undesired effect on citizens. I have stated that. My point continues to be about the role of local government that has not been responsible for the "inflow" but is responsible for its local effects. I will continue to assert that justice and compassion as applied to people regardless of status should be our interest. Sadly for too long my tax dollars have gone to foreign policies that do not meet those standards.
"Whats so funny about peace, love, and understanding"

Posted by: Phil at March 1, 2008 3:24 PM

I'm still laughing, Ragin'. Calling me every name in the book, I assure you, is no skin off my nose.

Posted by: rhody at March 1, 2008 4:18 PM

Phil I believe that your compassion and desire to help one of society's disadvantaged groups, while nobel, has missed it's mark.

You have already alluded to the fact that the dire circumstances illegal immigrants face are the result of poor political climates, badly run countries, in this case in the Central American region.

Yet none of your efforts in the name of compassion deal with the problem, the mismanaged countries south of us. In fact your actions would reward the leaders of these countries to the south of us by easing the process by which they let their unwanted get siphoned off to other, better run countries - like ours. Correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't this course of action just promote the problems that already exist in these other regions? Why don't you direct your efforts at the source of the problem.

Yet you're not suggesting that at all, that's too hard. Instead your compassion drives you to take the easy path and burden an entire class of US citizens who haven't done much of anything wrong, they have simply worked hard, tried to get an education, and tried to be responsible. It's enough for us to have to pick up the slack for our own unfortunate, disabled, and lazy. You want to further burden us with an entire population of needy folks from another country? You have got to be kidding! Your compassion will only the source of the problem worse than it already is. For knowing that there are plenty of compassionate individuals like yourself out there willing to use government as a tool to shake down the middle class is sure to guarantee that these inept foreign leaders never have to run their countries any better than they are now, ensuring a steady and growing flow of disadvantaged into our backyard. You are not solving the problem, you're magnifying it, and hurting plenty of innocent people in the process.

Posted by: Frank at March 1, 2008 6:41 PM

"Sadly for too long my tax dollars have gone to foreign policies that do not meet those standards."
I agree with you on this one Phil. I happen to believe charity begins at home. I believe we need a wholesale reassessment of the money we spend all over the globe, in particular with the United Nations.

Surely, that is what you meant, no?

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at March 1, 2008 7:12 PM


Are Canada, Australia and the UK simply nuts for enforcing their immigration laws to a degree unheard of in the US, or are they racists?

If you would care to drive a few hours north, you would be shocked to find -- guess what! -- virtually no illegal Guatemalans, Salvadoreans, Mexicans etc. in Canada (and I won't even go into the way Mexico treats illegal immigrants).

So what is it? Are they crazy, or are we crazy?

Have you ever considered that because they enforce their immigration laws, they can afford national health insurance?

The same argument has been made in the UK, by none other than the Sainted Tony Blair.

The more you look outside the borders of the United States, the more ridiculous your argument appears.

Posted by: John at March 1, 2008 9:21 PM
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