While incoming Governor Lincoln Chafee and incoming Providence Mayor Angel Taveras have been vocal about their opposition to policies that target immigrants, incoming Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is taking a different tack according to the Providence Journal:
Criminal suspects in Rhode Island would have their fingerprints automatically checked against an immigration database to determine if they’re in the country legally under a federal initiative that incoming attorney general Peter Kilmartin says he’ll enlist the state in after taking office.
The “Secure Communities” program, which the federal government hopes to roll out nationwide by 2013, has stoked debate about what role local police departments should have in federal immigration enforcement and about whether illegal immigrants accused of petty offenses are being flagged for deportation.
Supporters, including Kilmartin, say the initiative simplifies information sharing between local and federal law enforcement agencies, and is about identifying only those illegal immigrants accused of breaking the law. The government says the fingerprint program comes at no extra cost for communities.