Providene, R.I. – Supporters of Arizona's new illegal immigration law have cited Rhode Island as a state where police have carried out comparably tough enforcement without a court
challenge from the Obama administration.
But in Rhode Island, both sides of the debate agree that the executive order issued by Governor Don Carcieri in 2008 is far less sweeping than the Arizona law, which takes effect this month.
Arizona's law requires local police officers, while enforcing other laws, to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.
The Rhode Island executive order directs State Police to assist with immigration enforcement, but it merely encourages local police to seek the immigration status of suspects they encounter.
Some police departments say they don't want their officers
acting as immigration agents.