STATE HOUSE -- Representative Robert Nardolillo III (R-District 28 Coventry) is asking that Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza consider the consequences of their actions when harboring illegal immigrants in the city of Providence and the state of Rhode Island.
This week, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that threatens to strip sanctuary cities of federal funding. Jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with federal immigration laws, the order says, are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the attorney general or the secretary.
Representative Nardolillo said, “Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza are not putting Rhode Islanders first when they take a stance regarding illegal immigrants, against what the President of the United States is mandating. Rather, they are digging in, which is putting federal funding for Rhode Island on the line. Mayor Elorza says Providence already cooperates and complies with all federal law, but that the city doesn’t extend itself to enforce immigration laws. To me, that equates to defying federal law, putting his city at risk for losing federal funding. If our Governor backs him up, that puts federal funding for Rhode Island at risk.”
There is no formal definition for sanctuary jurisdictions, but the title is generally assigned to communities that refuse to cooperate with certain requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when it comes to holding an undocumented immigrant for deportation. The executive order Trump signed Wednesday states that the secretary of homeland security would be given the ability to designate sanctuary communities.
“It goes without question, that due to Elorza’s stance on this matter, Providence will probably receive such a designation,” Rep. Nardolillo added. “My fear is that the state of Rhode Island will receive this designation as well. Our Governor is putting millions of dollars are risk, and because of it, taxpayers may have to foot the bill.”