Arizona’s controversial law SB 1070, which allows police to investigate the immigration status of people stopped for other possible infractions, has drawn national attention and a federal lawsuit. SB 1070 has caused boycotts of Arizona businesses and perhaps self-serving indignation from politicians.
So why haven’t the feds gone after Rhode Island? According to a story in the Boston Globe, Rhode Island state troopers have been enforcing a 1070-like policy for years.
“From Woonsocket to Westerly, the troopers patrolling the nation’s smallest state are reporting all illegal immigrants they encounter, even on routine stops such as speeding, to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE.”
“There are police chiefs throughout New England who hide from the issue . . . and I’m not hiding from it,’’ said Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, the towering commander of the Rhode Island State Police. “I would feel that I’m derelict in my duties to look the other way.’’
“In 2008, [Rhode Island] Governor Donald L. Carcieri, issued an executive order mandating immigration checks on all new state workers and ordering State Police to assist federal immigration officials.”
“In 2009, Doherty took it a step further and enrolled in the 287(g) program, which designated four troopers as immigration task force agents to assist in investigating drug and human trafficking and other crimes. They also help regular troopers report illegal immigrants to ICE.”
The Obama administration’s failure to enforce federal immigration law has made 1070-like state policy necessary, and the feds are taking umbrage, and hypocritically making political hay.