• Judge Refuses to Block Implementation of Rhode Island Emergency Rule on E-Verify
  • January 29, 2009 | Authors: Pierre Georges Bonnefil; Héctor A. Chichoni; Robert S. Groban; Jang Hyuk Im; William M. Poole
  • Law Firms: Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - New York Office ; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - Miami Office ; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - New York Office ; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - San Francisco Office ; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - Atlanta Office
  • On December 02, 2008, Justice Mark A. Pfeiffer of the Rhode Island Superior Court refused to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the state from continuing to enforce an emergency regulation that required all persons and businesses doing business with the state to use E-Verify to substantiate that new hires are authorized to work in the United States (Rhode Island Coal. Against Domestic Violence v. Carcieri, R.I. Super. Ct., No. 08-5696, 12/2/08).

    Denying the TRO motion, the Rhode Island Superior Court found that "sufficient emergent circumstances exist" for the emergency regulation. On October 17, 2008, when the state Department of Administration issued the emergency regulation, the agency maintained that the emergency action was justified because it appeared that numerous undocumented aliens were working in state government buildings that contained sensitive documents and because of the elevated unemployment rate in the state.

    Judge Pfeiffer found that the plaintiffs challenging the regulation would not suffer irreparable harm without a TRO, because the emergency regulation applies only prospectively and does not affect any current contracts with the state. He also found that the Department of Administration is likely to implement a final regulation soon. In contrast, Judge Pfeiffer stated that: "…granting the requested TRO would create a risk of harm to state officials who might enter into contracts with entities that employ undocumented foreign workers prior to the implementation of the final regulation."