Town limits local police cooperation with immigration agents

October 25, 2017

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island town has approved an ordinance that limits the ways local police can assist federal immigration agents.

The Providence Journal reports that the South Kingstown Town Council approved the measure 3-2 this week. Supporters say it will allow people to report crimes without fear of deportation. Opponents say a previously passed measure already provides enough protections.

The ordinance generally prevents police from asking crime victims and witnesses about their immigration status and rejects participation in a program that allows local officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

It was based on a proposal prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island, which said it would protect people from “constitutionally dubious” immigration actions.

Terry Gorman, president of Rhode Island for Immigration Law Enforcement, called the ordinance an “atrocity.”

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