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Rhode Island Gov. Chafee repeals E-Verify mandate; Maine Gov. LePage reverses state’s “sanctuary” status

Rhode Island’s newly sworn-in Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee on January 5 fulfilled a campaign promise by repealing previous Gov. Donald L. Carcieri’s “Illegal Immigration Control Order,” which mandated the use of E-Verify in addition to other immigration control measures. Chafee issued Executive Order 11-02, to rescind the Executive Order 08-01, effective immediately. He also directed the Rhode Island State Police to withdraw from its memorandum of agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The repeal of Carcieri’s executive order on E-Verify effectively turns back the clock to before EO 08-01 was signed into law, noted Chafee. “This re-set will allow us to engage in a comprehensive dialogue with our immigrant communities, law enforcement agencies, and all interested parties. This is an opportunity to reach a consensus on how best to enforce the law.”

Meanwhile, in stark contrast, newly installed Maine Gov. Paul LePage rescinded two of his predecessor’s executive orders that he said had created the impression that Maine was a “so-called sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants. LePage also signaled the state’s intent “to promote rather than hinder the enforcement of federal immigration law” in rescinding Executive Order 13 FY 04/05 (a 2004 directive) and Executive Order 34 FY 04/05 (issued in 2005), effective immediately, directing state employees and officials to cooperate with federal government officials on all matters pertinent to immigration, “subject only to any limitations imposed by statutory law or by the Constitutions of Maine or the United States.”