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On November 5th, Rhode Island Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee said that one of his first actions in office will be to rescind an executive order that requires state agencies and vendors to use E-Verify to check whether new hires are eligible to work in the United States. Gov. Don Carcieri signed the executive order in late 2008 but Chafee, during his campaign, pledged to rescind it.

According to the Providence Journal, Chafee stood by his pledge even after a Rhode Island woman, who was kidnapped and raped at knifepoint in June 2008 by an illegal alien, sent a letter asking him to reconsider his stance. The woman’s letter argued that if E-Verify had been in place, she might not have been assaulted. Further, she said, “If anything, we should be implementing E-Verify across the board, not just for state employment. It should be required for any type of employment in the state of Rhode Island.”

In response, Chafee said, “That could happen in any state. We’re one of only six states, I think, to have E-Verify. There are 44 other states that don’t have it, and these types of tragedies can happen in any one of those 44 states. I don’t see the linkage”

Chafee was essentially arguing that he did not see a linkage because E-Verify is not widely used but a subsequent “fact check” article in the Journal shows Chafee’s argument is misleading. “Just how many states require the use of E-Verify? Contrary to what Chafee told reporters,” the Journal writes, “the number is 13 -- 26 percent -- according to data from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services.” You can view the list of states on our E-Verify map page.

The Journal goes on to write, “Chafee has repeatedly condemned Carcieri's executive order and promised to repeal it once he takes office. In challenging such a controversial policy, he owed it to constituents on both sides of the debate to do his homework on the current laws before speaking out."

On the veracity of Chafee's claims about E-Verify, the Journal said, "We rate this False.”

No word yet on what the assaulted woman thinks of Chafee’s inability to see a linkage.

Interior Enforcement
e-verify
state policies