Rhode Island, facing a budget crisis that will lead to massive cutbacks, is in the most intense battle over illegal immigration in New England, with Republicans and Democrats alike calling for a crackdown on unauthorized workers, reports the Boston Globe. State lawmakers and the governor have proposed a battery of measures targeting unauthorized workers, from expelling undocumented children from the state’s healthcare system to making English the official language to jailing business owners and landlords who harbor illegal workers.
The father of the state’s first baby born in 2008 was caught up in the issue. Days after a beaming Mynor Montufar appeared in the news, the illegal immigrant was picked up for deportation to Guatemala. Other states are also taking on immigration. In Arizona, a law that took effect this year threatens to shut down businesses that intentionally hire illegal immigrants. Oklahoma began denying government benefits to illegal immigrants last year and made it a felony to harbor them.