State Rep. Peter Palumbo Pushing for Immigration Crackdown in Rhode Island

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 20, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: Meanwhile, unload on Arizona, Democrats give you a standing ovation. It happened to the Mexican president today in Congress.

But my next guest is a Democrat who’s not standing for it at all. He’s pushing a bill in Rhode Island that pretty much mirrors what Arizona is doing.

Peter Palumbo is state a representative there.

Representative, what are you trying to do?

PETER PALUMBO, D-R.I. STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Neil, I’m just trying to show support for our brethren in Arizona. And I put a bill in that mirrors the Arizona law.

I put an act in, in 2008 which was the Taxpayer and Citizens Protection Act, which was the same bill that Arizona put in back then. And I just think it’s a shame that we would have other cities in the country that would — would talk about boycotting a state for merely trying to protect themselves.

CAVUTO: So, when you’re addressing — of course, in — in Arizona, Representative, what they have been talking about, probably and largely, the illegal immigrants are Hispanic most of the time. In Rhode Island, what’s the issue?

PALUMBO: Mm-hmm.

We have a — we have a — you know, you don’t need to be a border community to — a border state to have problems with illegals. I have been working on this issue for a number of years now. And we have somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000 illegal aliens in our state. The — the effect of that is — is somewhere between 150 million to 350 million in taxpayer dollars each year that we’re spending on illegal aliens. That’s either incarceration or hospitalization or...

CAVUTO: So, let me ask you, Representative — I understand, sir. So, when the president of Mexico...


CAVUTO: ...tells — and gets a standing ovation for this — that he’s doing everything he can to address this, you don’t seem to be buying it.

PALUMBO: It’s an outrage. I mean, it’s just — it’s an absolute outrage, when they have laws that are stricter than ours as far as illegal aliens going into their country, and they’re upset because we have a — because there are Mexicans going — crossing the border and going back to their own country. I don’t understand it. I really don’t. This merely codifies existing law.


CAVUTO: What kind of support are you getting, Representative, for this?

PALUMBO: Well, it’s difficult. I have a lot of progressives in Rhode Island. But I have at least a dozen co-sponsors to this bill.

And I’m hoping that, with the media coverage that we have been getting...

CAVUTO: All right.

PALUMBO: And, by the way, thank God for Fox News, because you see a lot of the other stations who are putting the minority comments on this bill. And you know that there’s a large majority of people in support of this and what they’re doing in Arizona.

CAVUTO: Well, we have the bill there for everyone to read.

Representative, thank you very much.

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