RE: RE: DMV Fake Ids
One of the disturbing aspects of the revelation of this activity at the DMV is the idea that the State of Rhode Island may have broken the law and hired an undocumented immigrant. This is not to focus on Ms. Dolores Rodriguez-LaFlamme. It may well turn out that she is compliant with our immigration laws. We do not know.
More to the point, however, neither does the state.
The 2007 session of the Rhode Island General Assembly saw the introduction of a bill to phase in the use of an on-line immigration status verification program by all companies in Rhode Island.
Two Woonsocket legislators have submitted legislation to deter illegal immigration by requiring employers to use a simple, free system to verify the work eligibility of all new hires over the Internet.
Sen. Marc A. Cote (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield) and Rep. Jon D. Brien (D-Dist. 50, Woonsocket) have introduced legislation (2007-S 0352 and 2007-H 5392) to require all Rhode Island companies to use the Federal Basic Employment Verification Pilot Program, also called “Basic Pilot.” The legislation has the support of 22 co-sponsors in the Senate and 39 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
A contributory editorial by Jessica Vaughan in the March 14 Providence Journal explains the value and effectiveness of such a program:
The most widely accepted approach is to prevent the employment of illegal aliens by making sure that businesses, state agencies and their contractors confirm the immigration status of new employees with the federal government. Colorado, Georgia and Idaho have already passed some degree of mandatory verification, and a bill filed by Sen. Marc Cote and Rep. Jon Brien, two Democrats from Woonsocket, would establish a similar practice in the Ocean State. …
Realistically, the national population of more than 12 million illegal immigrants cannot be apprehended and removed one by one. Nor is the federal government likely to enact a mass amnesty to legalize them.
By preventing employment and access to other benefits, eventually many illegal aliens will choose to return home on their own, and others will decide not to come at all. Not only will this reduce the fiscal burden of illegal immigration, it will open up employment opportunities for millions of our own workers, especially those lacking skills and education, such as many recent immigrants and young people who are new to the job market.
Despite the mandate of twenty two co-sponsoring senators and thirty nine co-sponsoring representatives and after passing the House 48-18, this bill died in the Senate, reportedly because Senate President Joseph Montalbano deferred to the wishes of Senate Majority Leader Teresa Paiva-Weed.
Senator Cote (D) and Representative Brien (D) have promised to re-introduce this bill in the upcoming session. In view of the federal government’s spotty efforts to enforce our immigration laws and the growing cost of illegal immigration, there is clearly a need for this bill to become law. In view of the grotesque possibility that an undocumented immigrant could still use a state agency, the state seal and state resources to assist others in evading or breaking our laws, there is clearly also a need for the state itself to implement this program.
The only question, in fact, is why the state would stand on ceremony and wait for the General Assembly to re-convene. Starting now, let the largest employer in the state lead by example.