House Speaker Gordon D. Fox decided Monday that Rep. Peter Palumbo’s controversial Arizona-style bill on immigration will not be heard this session.The bill previously had met with protests, including a disruption of the House chamber:
“The speaker opposes this and feels it’s better addressed federally. We’re not going to hear it this year,” said Larry Berman, spokesman for the House of Representatives. Palumbo could not be reached for comment....
Terry Gorman, president of Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement, said he believed that Palumbo had been promised a hearing Thursday afternoon.
“And now here comes Gordon Fox, which is exactly what everyone anticipated, to use his power and cancel it … It’s just unfair. It’s getting to be more and more of a charade then you can ever imagine.”
At least 100 protesters chanted: “This is what democracy looks like!” and ¡Si se puede! (Yes we can) and “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Peter Palumbo’s got to go!”
The protest started quietly as demonstrators wearing banners that said, “Do I Look Illegal?” milled about the House floor. It gathered steam and decibel levels as the bell rang and legislators convened at 4 p.m.
Speaker Gordon D. Fox banged his gavel, and Capitol Police began telling the protesters it was time to go. The demonstrators left the chamber, but continued their chants and foot-stomping on the marble steps just outside the door.
Dem. Legislator Files Arizona-Like Immigration Bill in Rhode Island
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