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Rhode Island governor signs order cracking down on illegal immigrants

[JURIST] Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri [official website] signed an executive order [PDF text; press release] Thursday that will require state agencies and companies to verify the legal status of their employees when they do business with the state, and will allow state police, prison and parole officials more flexibility in finding and deporting illegal immigrants. During a news conference, Carcieri argued that the executive order is "about making sure that those who come here can realize their goals of economic security and a better quality of life." He also criticized the federal government's efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform [JURIST news archive], saying that it has not done enough to combat illegal immigration.

Under the executive order, the state Department of Administration will use E-Verify [DHS backgrounder], a federal program, to electronically verify that all government employees are legal residents, and will also require all companies doing business with the state government to use E-Verify to check on their employees. The executive order gives state agencies the authority to notify citizens when their identity has been improperly used to obtain state benefits. AP has more. The Providence Journal has local coverage.

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