Rep. Canario cosponsors legislation to prevent Rhode Island from becoming an illegal immigration destination
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) has cosponsored two pieces of legislation to effectively prevent those who are unlawfully present in the country from obtaining driver’s licenses in Rhode Island, and to prohibit municipalities from refusing to cooperate with the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration laws. Both pieces of legislation (2016-H 7859 / 2016-H 7860) were introduced by Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence).
“I feel strongly that our federal immigration laws are in place for a reason and that we as a state should abide by these laws that were enacted to protect American citizens,” said Representative Canario. “Although our immigration system does need reform, it’s important to enforce the laws that are already established.”
Both pieces of legislation are meant to establish laws that are consistent with federal immigration laws and to send a clear message that Rhode Island is no place for those who enter the country illegally. One of the bills would require anyone who applies to the Division of Motor Vehicles for a driver’s license to provide either a valid Social Security number or proof of legal permanent residency in the United States. The legislation would take effect upon passage, and would apply to any issuance or renewal of any existing license on or after July 1.
The second piece of legislation aims to prevent “sanctuary cities” in Rhode Island. It would ban any government entity from prohibiting or restricting any state or local entity from working with the federal Department of Homeland Security to determine the immigration status of any individual or refusing to provide the federal immigration authorities with access to inmates in Rhode Island or information about them. It also stipulates the law enforcement officials may securely transport and transfer to federal custody those who the federal government has verified are in the country illegally. The bill also allows Rhode Island citizens to file a complaint with the attorney general if they believe an agency is not complying with it, and states that if the allegation proves true, the offending agency shall not be eligible to receive any funds from the state until the violation has ceased.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903