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Rhode Island faces Arizona-type legislation

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May 24, 2010

A piece of legislation, H 8142, has been introduced in Rhode Island that is designed to harass and punish undocumented immigrants.

It criminalizes an administrative violation. It makes undocumented entry into the U.S. a crime. This has always been an administrative issue that results in deportation. Under this bill, the first conviction is a class one misdemeanor with a fine of up to $2500 and a jail sentence of up to six months. Any subsequent conviction is a felony.

It will lead to racial profiling. The bill requires law enforcement officers to challenge people if they have a “reasonable suspicion” they are undocumented. Despite assertions to the contrary, this suspicion can be formed only through racial profiling.

People of faith in Rhode Island are already rallying to stop this bill from being enacted. Read what they are doing and then email your governor to ensure such a law doesn’t come to your state.

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