Palumbo and Maselli Make 2nd Attempt at RI Immigration Reform

Democrat State Rep. Peter Palumbo and Democrat Sen. Christopher Maselli have filed new legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration in Rhode Island.

The legislation, a revamped version of a bill that died during the last General Assembly, aims to tighten state laws regarding issuance of driver’s licenses and to make it unlawful for businesses or individuals to harbor undocumented immigrant workers. Both legislators said the issue is about economics and protecting jobs.

But enough about the actual legislation and its goals, the ProJo devotes the rest of the story (about 2/3s) to the reaction of those who oppose the measure. Nothing new there, just the normal rhetorical conflation of “immigrant” with “illegal immigrant” (apparently, “nuance” is a term of convenience and not applicable in the illegal immigration debate) and the old tropes about purported racism and hatred of non-English speakers are trotted out. But then there was this:

William Shuey, executive director of the International Institute, said similar legislation enacted in other parts of the country “has done nothing to address the underlying issues that need to be addressed by federal legislation…


Illegal immigrants living in states and cities that have adopted strict immigration policies are packing up and moving back to their home countries or to neighboring states.
The exodus has been fueled by a wave of laws targeting illegal immigrants in Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and elsewhere. Many were passed after congressional efforts to overhaul the immigration system collapsed in June.
Immigrants say the laws have raised fears of workplace raids and deportation.
“People now are really frightened and scared because they don’t know what’s going to happen,” says Juliana Stout, an editor at the newspaper El Nacional de Oklahoma. “They’re selling houses. They’re leaving the country.”
Supporters of the laws cheer the departure of illegal immigrants and say the laws are working as intended.
Oklahoma state Rep. Randy Terrill, Republican author of his state’s law, says the flight proves it is working. “That was the intended purpose,” he says. “It would be just fine with me if we exported all illegal aliens to the surrounding states.”
Most provisions of an Oklahoma law take effect in November. Among other things, it cuts off benefits such as welfare and college financial aid.
There’s no hard demographic data on the trend, partly because it’s hard to track people who are in the USA illegally. But school officials, real estate agents and church leaders say the movement is unmistakable.

Other reports from Arizona (and here), Oklahoma and Georgia (video) confirm that, faced with tougher state laws (and a tighter economy), illegal immigrants are choosing self deportation. For instance, a recent story in the NY Times detailed how one family was part of a mass exodus of Brazilians leaving the U.S. for their home country.

To explain an often wrenching decision to pull up stakes, homeward-bound Brazilians point to a rising fear of deportation and a slumping American economy. Many cite the expiration of driver’s licenses that can no longer be renewed under tougher rules, coupled with the steep drop in the value of the dollar against the currency of Brazil, where the economy has improved.
“You put it all together, and why should you stay in an environment like that if you have a place like Brazil, where there’s hope, a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train to run you over?” said Pedro Coelho, a businessman in Mount Vernon, N.Y., who is known as the mayor of Brazilians in Westchester County. “Are they leaving? Yes, by the hundreds.”
In Massachusetts, says Fausto da Rocha, the founder of the Boston-area Brazilian Immigrant Center, his compatriots — many here illegally — are leaving by the thousands, some after losing homes in the subprime mortgage crisis. In New York and New Jersey, travel agents and others who sell airline seats say that one-way bookings to Brazil have more than doubled since last year, to about 150 daily from Kennedy International Airport, and that flights are sold out through February.
And at Brazil’s consulate in Miami, which serves Brazilians in five Southeastern states, officials said a recent survey of moving companies and travel agencies confirmed what they had already surmised from their foot traffic: More Brazilians are leaving the region than arriving…

It would seem–contra Mr. Shuey–that a state can pass and enforce laws that makes it tougher for illegals to live in the U.S. and doesn’t that “address the underlying issues,” regardless of what the federal government does?

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
16 years ago

It’ll pass if Palumbo can vote for enough people who don’t show up.
Seriuously, why is this crook still sitting in the Assembly? Now there’s a Democrat we should all be targeting.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
16 years ago

–Seriuously, why is this crook still sitting in the Assembly?
I don’t know if Palumbo is a crook or not.
But if he is, then instead of being targeted he’s eligible for a leadership position within the Democrat hierarchy at the General Assembly, following in the footsteps of Democrat standard bearers such as Bevilaqua; Harwood; Moura; Irons; Martineau; Celona …

16 years ago

on a related note-namely the interpreter lawsuit brought by the aclu at the behest of PrYSM,the Providence Youth Student Movement(nice leftist name-huh?)it seems the state is paying part of the cost of this suit with taxpayer funds thanks to Mr.Rosenbaum of the RI Council on the Arts which gives funding to PrYSM-this group was founded by Brown activists to protest the deportation of SE Asian convicted aggravated felons starting in 2001 after normalization of relations with Cambodia,Laos,and Vietnam-this is a political activist group which should not be receiving taxpayer funding-who’s on their Board of Directors?Matt Jerzyk,former director of RI Jobs with Justice and left wing agitator and Mimi Budnick,another leftist associated with DARE-PrYSM also gets funding from the RI Foundation,newly appointed stewards of the Blue Cross penalty funds;Resist Inc of Somerville,MA;and the Haymarket organization of Boston,both of the latter being hard left activist groups.The Governor should fire Mr.Rosenbaum TODAY and i believe the State Police should look into this situation because both the PrYSM students who initiated this action(with no guidance,right?)attend the Met School which just by coincidence has an outreach program with the Swearer Center at Brown where the young students are taken to the Brown campus for what?political indoctrination?this seems to have potential criminal liability involved re:this activity taking place on school time-i’m not an attorney,but something doesn’t seem right here -it never ceases to amaze me how many places this Jerzyk character shows up to sow the seeds of discord and instability-by the way the RI Foundation gave this group $15,000-i wonder how much of our overpaid Blue Cross premiums will find it way into the hands of Jerzyk &Co. to indoctrinate young children with?

16 years ago

Sorry, but anything with Palumbo can’t be very credible. Read up a little on this goof and readers will learn why.

16 years ago

“Democrat State Rep. Peter Palumbo and Democrat Sen. Christopher Maselli have filed new legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration in Rhode Island.”
And the key word is “illegal”.
Palumbo and Maselli (and Singleton and Brien) are to be heartily applauded. While a border fence is important, it is almost more important to remove – or at least reduce – the reasons that people come here and stay here: jobs and social programs.
I’m still waiting to hear why all other countries on the planet are allowed to have and enforce borders and immigration laws but we are not. Opponents here in Rhode Island of immigration control measures today trotted out the usual tired, hollow, completely inaccurate reason this bill should not pass: racism.
Yawn. For this to be racist, a particular race would have to be targeted. This focuses solely on legality and compliance with our regulations. If you’re here legally, welcome. If not, forget it. It doesn’t matter if you are Irish or British or Swedish or French.

16 years ago

well,monique-you get it-the longest prison sentence i ever got on a re- entry after deportation charge was on a white european(12 years)and the most extensive smuggling investigation(now called human trafficking-how chic)i was ever involved in also was a crew that brought in people from eastern europe through mexico and was initiated by a traffic stop(racial profiling?-white guys who couldn’t speak english)by an Illinois State Trooper who got suspicious at the aforementioned situation and notified INS-is Rhoda Perry reading this(probably as soon as she finishes her Quiznos grinder)

16 years ago

Trust me, Monique, if you’re serious about getting this thing passed, you don’t want Palumbo as your frontman.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.