Patterico's Pontifications

4/9/2008

Rhode Island: Doing Jobs the Federal Government Won’t Do

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 8:28 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Yesterday, Rhode Island’s Governor Carcieri announced a six-point executive order to address illegal immigration because the federal government won’t:

“Governor Carcieri yesterday signed a six-point executive order he said will enable “a vast array of state government agencies” to address illegal immigration in Rhode Island.

He said he did so because the federal government has dropped the ball on immigration reform and left state taxpayers to pick up what he said are the considerable costs of illegal immigration.
***
“The motive is to get control of an issue that has to be dealt with,” he said. “If you’re here illegally, you shouldn’t be here.”

The measure will require state agencies and vendors to verify the legal status of all employees; allow the state to inform people whose identity has been stolen; and directs Rhode Island State Police and Department of Corrections to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “to ensure federal immigration law is enforced.” The agreements between the state police and the DOC have yet to be worked out.

“Unfortunately, over the last few decades, the federal government has consistently ignored the complex issue of illegal immigration,” said Carcieri. “As a result, the flow of illegal immigrants has become epidemic, with the consequential costs being borne by state taxpayers.”

The governor said the Pew Hispanic Center currently estimates there are 40,000 illegal immigrants in Rhode Island, more, he noted, “than the population of most of our state’s cities and towns. This puts a tremendous strain upon our public schools, hospitals, state and local human-services organizations and law enforcement agencies.”

The Governor said the first focus will be to deport criminal aliens:

““We are not going to businesses and places of employment looking for people. That’s not our role. We focus more on criminal aliens — those who are in the country illegally, committing crimes,” O’Donnell said. “We understand it’s a volatile issue but that’s our opinion — whatever is illegal … we can’t turn our backs on it. On the flip side, we could be found criminally or civilly liable for failure to act.”

Remind you of something? I’m thinking Deport the Criminals First.

— DRJ

28 Responses to “Rhode Island: Doing Jobs the Federal Government Won’t Do”

  1. All I have to say is…not all that hard to do, was it? Step up to the plate and swing at the pitch. Why do these people make it out to be such a complicated thing? Oh, yes, that legal wrangling deal…and executive disorders.

    But we do know the underlying ‘real’ reason. Money. With business caving, incomes stagnating, costs rising, those state and local budgets are gasping. They can’t just print up more bucks like the Fed can. Or declare deficits the problem of someone not even born yet.

    allan (a8d4de)

  2. I’m hoping we see more states model Arizona and Rhode Island. Of course we here in Cali will be left in the dust because we eternally committed to worship at the altar of political correctness and the whims of a few.

    But with that, just how great would it be to have our guv, Arnold himself address the media, say, the LATs, in the truth-laid-bare-in-your-face way Governor Carcieri does:

    “When Providence Journal political columnist M. Charles Bakst asked Carcieri, “Don’t you understand, however good your motives are, it stirs things up?” against both legal and illegal immigrants, Carcieri replied, “What stirs [things] up is what you write. The language you use and others in the media are what inflames this issue. You use the right language and we can get a lot more balanced discussion on this. You’re the ones who are responsible.”

    Beautiful.

    Dana (1dfee2)

  3. “On the flip side, we could be found criminally or civilly liable for failure to act.”

    Has a State ever been held liable civilly or criminally liable for the actions of illegal aliens based in the failure of the State to take action to enforce federal immigration law? Seems a reach, what with Federal preemption and sovereign immunity principles.

    If a governor wants to take steps to rid his State of illegal aliens that’s one thing, but invoking the hobgoblin of legal liability that probably doesn’t exist seems pretty dishonest.

    Aplomb (61ab33)

  4. Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman is altogether unimpressed:

    “I am opposed to a proactive role because of the chilling effect it would have on our being able to have people have trust in us and to report crimes,” the chief said.

    steve (2b88d5)

  5. Well, all those illegal Portuguese and Irish in Rhode Island better be on the lookout.

    Not to poke fun at a state that is actually trying to address the situation, but there is a world of difference between the illegal immigrant in RI and the situation in states like California, Arizona, Texas, and the like.

    JVW (835f28)

  6. Steve in comment 4: Seems like I have heard that line of reasoning before. . .

    JVW (835f28)

  7. “I am opposed to a proactive role because of the chilling effect it would have on our being able to have people have trust in us and to report crimes,” the chief said.

    That attitude has done so much to reduce crime in the City of Angels!

    Another BDM!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  8. “…but there is a world of difference between the illegal immigrant in RI and the situation in states like California, Arizona, Texas, and the like.”

    #5, do you believe this precludes Cali from taking action at the state level?

    Dana (1dfee2)

  9. Nope, but it means that California would have to devote a whole lot more in resources than a state like RI would, and I am not sure if our fellow citizens would be willing to foot the bill, especially in light of the budget mess we currently have.

    JVW (835f28)

  10. On the other hand, large border states like California and Texas spend far more on illegal immigrants than small NE states like Rhode Island. Also, the cost of identifying and deporting criminal aliens is largely a function of overhead costs. Once you set up a system, it should be more cost effective in a larger state than in a smaller one.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  11. Considering how much illegal immigrants already cost Californian taxpayers (approximately 10 billion per year on education, health care and incarceration), I have a hard time seeing how much worse it would be to expend that kind of money if it meant the problem would be decisively dealt with.

    I’m not convinced its an issue of taxpayer’s reluctance to shell out but more an issue of too many people (businesses) benefitting from the usery of a permanent underclass. And from very liberal politicians who haven’t the spine to make a stand.

    Dana (1dfee2)

  12. True that (I always wanted to use that phrase) DRJ, but my fear is that the observable return won’t necessarily offset the costs in most people’s minds. It will be hard to argue that the streets are safer because such-and-such criminal got deported. Look at how hard the apologists for criminals have been working to convince everyone that a tough-on-crime policies didn’t really cause the crime drop in the 1990s.

    As for me, I am for deporting illegal immigrant criminals simply out of principle, but I would guess that if California and Texas started doing it there wouldn’t be any drastic change in crime rates and the majority of people (goaded on by the intelligentsia) would conclude that it was a waste of money. We should continue to insist that criminal illegals should be deported, but I think it is counterproductive trying to convince people that it will lead to a significant reduction in crime.

    JVW (835f28)

  13. Dana said: I’m not convinced its an issue of taxpayer’s reluctance to shell out but more an issue of too many people (businesses) benefitting from the usery of a permanent underclass. And from very liberal politicians who haven’t the spine to make a stand.

    That’s exactly it. These poor people flee to America to be exploited… under the threat of calling INS. We hear people say they will help pay for social security but won’t get benefits… that’s stealing. We hear that they do jobs cheaply because their bosses don’t pay them minimum wage… that’s wrong.

    Mexico gets away with not reforming, because all those who can’t survive under their horrid systems can flee here. If we stopped the illegal immigration enough, Mexico would see far more reform… and if we could force Mexico to change, illegal immigration would become less of a problem.

    but a lot of business owners think they can’t survive without their illegal workers. So these people suffer. Anyone who thinks permitting illegal immigration is compassionate is wrong.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  14. I wonder how many illegals would fall for one of those casting call stings they do periodically for people with outstanding warrants.

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  15. JVW – there’s an old saying or somesuch that goes “how do you eat an elephant?” “one bite at a time” and thats the way your Cali and my Texas will have to try to solve the problem. and at first it will be small bites. here in DFW, Irving has developed a reputation as a city for illegals to avoid and its at that level the work needs to start and then progress to the state level as things get more in hand.

    chas (536ceb)

  16. Since RI is smaller in size and population than the City of L.A., it must be the water there that puts flint into the back-bones of their politicians; something that is glaringly lacking in ours.
    This city, and the attendant county, have more resources at their command to do something about this problem if they so wished.
    The politicians in this area are just incapable of doing the right thing. All that consumes them is spending our money to ensure their re-election, and continuation in power – the power that they lust for to just have, not to accomplish anything with.
    The “small bites” theory is correct. A large animal in the Amazon River has nothing to fear from a single piranha, but the multitudes that will attack will strip it to the bone. That is what we must do with our chicken-livered politicians.
    Death from a thousand cuts.
    RECALL THEM ALL!

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  17. There’s an interesting article in The Atlantic that seems particularly pertinent to the “Deport the Criminals First” argument (with which I more or less agree, by the way – but this article gives pause…)

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  18. Leviticus – I’m not sure I buy the cause and effect of that Atlantic article. If the people need gang affiliation and criminal skills to survive in Salvador, why don’t they stay they. We are not inviting them to illegally immigrate back. It remains an illegal immigration problem one way or another and it begs the question whether the gang was forming in any event. I don’t buy the conclusion it suggests, don’t deport people because it will lead to an increase in crime through the acceleration of gang formation. Fine, if that’s the case, then target the gangs as we are now.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. “It remains an illegal immigration problem one way or another…”

    – daleyrocks

    That’s true, but illegal immigration isn’t something we’re going to solve wholesale. There will always be illegal immigration in one degree or another (or so I would imagine). In the meantime, we have to take steps to minimize the negative effects of illegal immigration.

    “I don’t buy the conclusion it suggests, don’t deport people because it will lead to an increase in crime through the acceleration of gang formation.”

    – daleyrocks

    I think the conclusion is more along the lines of “Don’t deport hardcore gang members because it will lead to an increase in crime through the acceleration of gang formation”. Deportation (coupled with loose borders, which is your point) currently functions as a means to recruit promising new members. It’s like El Salvador/Honduras/Wherever are the Minor Leagues, and the MS-13 deportees are scouts. They go south, find some prospects, and bring them to the Major League.

    MS-13 is one of the most dangerous gangs in the country: if its members don’t deserve prison sentences, I don’t know who does. For what it’s worth, I’d rather they serve their prison sentences here, where guards and wardens aren’t scared to kick their asses, than in El Salvador, where they are.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  20. Leviticus,

    I need to read your Atlantic link but I want to clarify one thing about Deport the Criminals First that may not be clear based on the title alone. The purpose of Deport the Criminals First isn’t to identify and deport criminals. The purpose is to identify and deport criminals after they have served their time.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  21. DRJ – I was under the wrong impression too. Deportation AFTER serving time makes great sense.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  22. EdWood,

    I also think identifying illegal aliens is important at arrest because it affects whether the suspect should get bail.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  23. “The purpose is to identify and deport criminals after they have served their time.”

    – DRJ

    I understand, but the point of the article is that deportation, whenever it occurs, serves as a recruiting run.

    Leviticus (e87aad)

  24. Leviticus – The article does suggest that lengthy prison stays are more effective than deportation IF an arrest is made for criminal charges. It’s too bad the article does not address border security, which is why I found it silly. To me it makes no sense to have gang members hang around illegally in this country until they commit criminal offenses and we can imprison them. That is essentially what you and the article are recommending. No thank you.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  25. “To me it makes no sense to have gang members hang around illegally in this country until they commit criminal offenses and we can imprison them.”

    – daleyrocks

    “Hanging around illegally in this country” is a criminal offense (as conservatives are often so eager to point out). The typical punishment for this criminal offense is deportation, but that doesn’t mean that other punishments (such as imprisonment) couldn’t be used, especially in the case of repeat offenders (especially in the case of those who also happen to be gang members).

    Leviticus (68e8c2)

  26. Perhaps we could build a dedicated facility for gang-bangers who face deportation somewhere in Northern Alaska on the Northern Slope. After spending time there, their home country might look pretty good to them (as if that should matter)?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  27. Leviticus @25 – Thanks for pointing out the obvious. The article you linked is not in favor of quickie deportation on immigration charges or jailing on such charges unless it would bring lengthy prison sentences. Are you telling me that immigration charges typically carry lengthy prison sentences or am I reading the following quote wrong:

    “For hard-core gang members, quickie deportations on immigration charges are often no more than short-term fixes; lengthy American prison sentences would be more effective.”

    More effective border security would give us a chance of keeping these people out of the country to begin with. Why don’t you and the author consider that solution?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  28. “Are you telling me that immigration charges typically carry lengthy prison sentences”

    – daleyrocks

    No, but that’s not to say they couldn’t, particularly in the case of dangerous gang members.

    “More effective border security would give us a chance of keeping these people out of the country to begin with. Why don’t you and the author consider that solution?”

    – daleyrocks

    With all due respect, why don’t you? I have nothing against a closed border; I just don’t know how you make the idea a reality. Until someone comes up with a bulletproof method for keeping these guys out of the country, discussions of alternative methods for curtailing their criminal efficacy are warranted.

    Leviticus (35fbde)


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