Progress Despite Uniformity?
Credit (applause, even) where it’s due:
Bills will be introduced in the Rhode Island Senate and House of Representatives that would prohibit the employment or harboring of illegal aliens in Rhode Island.
To be introduced in the House by Rep. Peter G. Palumbo (D-Dist. 16, Cranston) and in the Senate by Sen. Christopher B. Maselli (D-Dist. 25, Johnston), “The Illegal Immigration Relief Act” declares that the unlawful employment or harboring of illegal aliens harms the health, safety and welfare of authorized workers and legal residents.
The bills make it unlawful for any business entity to recruit, hire or continue to employ an unlawful worker within the state. Complaints would be investigated by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, which would have the authority to request identity information from a business for any persons alleged to be unlawful workers. Businesses failing to provide such information or which actually employ an unlawful worker would have their business license suspended for 30 days and impose a fine of not more than $500 for a first offense. A second violation would carry a license suspension of up to one year, and any subsequent violation would be a permanent loss of operating license. A third violation would be a felony with a punishment of imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to $3,000.
Businesses or individuals knowingly harboring an illegal worker by renting or leasing a dwelling unit in the state would face action by the Office of the Attorney General, with a potential punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine of between $500 and $1,000 for each adult illegal alien being harbored. A subsequent violation would be a felon, with punishment including imprisonment of up to three years and a fine a up to $5,000.
And check this out:
The legislators said they also intend to draft legislation to reform the state’s welfare system, which has long been seen as attracting illegal aliens to the state. Representative Palumbo and Senator Maselli said they want to ensure that Rhode Island distributes welfare support only in the amount appropriated by the federal government.
I may have become too cynical, but I can’t help but muse that proposing legislation is relatively cost-free. If a political party begins to fear that its malignant dominance of the government is threatened by general awakening to reality, it could buy some time by feigning to address the issues that promise to be its undoing. I could be wrong, but we’ll see whether these bills go anywhere.
I think I may be getting too cynical, too. This legislation seems almost too good and helpful to too many people to actually pass through an otherwise self-absorbed and corrupt legislature. Maybe I’m wrong, but usually the reason things get through the General Assembly has more to do with self-interest, paybacks to well-connected friends, and general pocket lining, than it does with promoting the well-being of the citizens of Rhode Island.
No, this is definitely progress. That such bills are being introduced at all is a milestone and all the legislators (I believe we can add Rep Singleton to that list) who did so are to be commended. They are the first to stop listening to the siren song and to start using their brains.