A Tale of Two Governors
January 06, 2011, 09:31 PM
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We all know that elections can have big consequences, such as the most pro-immigration-enforcement Congress in years (in the opinion of Roy Beck) being voted into power. Surely millions of patriotic Americans were thrilled to see the end of Nancy Pelosi’s pro-amnesty House of Representatives on January 5. Sweet.

On the state level, there is both progress and retrograde motion: consider the two differing examples of approaches to illegal immigration: Rhode Island and Florida.

In November, Rhode Island voters chose former Republican Lincoln Chafee as their next governor. He acted quickly after being sworn in to diminish public safety in his state by hobbling police in their contacts with potentially illegal and criminal aliens.

RI Gov. Chafee rescinds immigration order, Associated Press, January 5, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has rescinded an executive order that cracked down on illegal immigration, and says he’s directed state police to end a federal agreement that allows them to assist with immigration enforcement.

Chafee on Wednesday rescinded the 2008 order, signed by his predecessor, Republican Gov. Don Carcieri. Chafee, an independent, says it had been divisive and that he’d seen no evidence that it worked.

He said immigration is an issue that needs to be dealt with on a federal level.

The order required state departments and state contractors to use the federal E-verify system to check the legal status of new employees and allowed State Police to check the immigration status of people they take into custody.

Down south, however, the new governor of Florida Rick Scott has a different idea. He campaigned as being tough on illegal immigration, saying that he favored an Arizona-style law.

Scott also has emphasized job creation and liberation. True to his word, he recently got off to a good start by requiring state agencies to use E-verify.

Scott Becomes Governor, Promising to Focus on Jobs, The Ledger, Lakeland Florida, January 4, 2011

TALLAHASSEE | Culminating a dramatic climb from political obscurity to the state’s top executive job, Richard Lynn Scott became Florida’s 45th governor Tuesday, promising to put Floridians back to work by aggressively seeking to limit taxes, state regulations and lawsuits.

In his first official act, Scott, a 58-year-old Naples businessman who has never before held public office, immediately issued an executive order freezing state regulations in place in the agencies under his control, while ordering all regulations and major state contracts to be reviewed.

In another order, Scott — who used a tough stance on immigration to win the Republican primary — directed state agencies, when hiring new employees, to use the E-Verify system, a federal ­Internet-based portal for checking work authorization and Homeland Security information. The verification system will also be used for state contractors and their workers.

Additionally, Scott issued executive orders creating a stronger ethical standard for state employees and committing to avoid discrimination in hiring practices during his administration.

While the executive orders are not unusual for a new governor, these — particularly the regulatory freeze — signal Scott’s willingness to assertively take on the Tallahassee establishment. And the early moves are reflective of Scott’s campaign theme of running as a political outsider. . . .

Meanwhile, the future is not so bright in Mexifornia. Americans who reside there face a state government where all top officials are Democrats, and Governor Jerry Brown has promised to spend more taxpayer money to educate illegal alien students despite the enormous debt which he says he will solve.