The ACLU of Rhode Island responded today to President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration that, among other things, propose the deportation of immigrants merely for being charged with offenses and seek to sanction so-called “sanctuary cities” with a loss of federal funds.
The ACLU said it was preparing a comprehensive package of immigrant-protective measures that municipalities in Rhode Island, and the state itself, could adopt to mitigate the harm to immigrant communities that the executive orders would cause. The ACLU also said it would be prepared to legally assist municipalities in court faced with a threatened loss of funding for adopting lawful policies to protect their immigrant communities.
ACLU of RI executive director Steven Brown said: “Notwithstanding the President’s disturbing saber-rattling, there are clear constitutional limits on his ability to punish cities and towns that decide they do not want to be in the business of enforcing federal immigration law. Many public officials, including representatives of law enforcement, recognize that promoting trust in the immigrant community is a critical component of policing, and that the crackdowns envisioned by the President undermine, rather than promote, public safety.
“We will be offering interested municipalities and advocates in the state a package of policies that can be adopted to counteract the federal administration’s clear disdain for the immigrant community and for the healthy and vibrant role that it has played in our country’s history.” Brown said he expected the legislative package would be available for distribution within two weeks.