ACLU of Rhode Island Responds to Governor’s Latest Order Against Out-of-State Drivers

March 29, 2020 12:00 pm

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ACLU of Rhode Island executive director Steven Brown issued the following statement in response to the latest order from Governor Gina Raimondo giving State Police and the National Guard the power to stop any car with out-of-state license plates coming into Rhode Island:

“The ACLU remains very concerned about the enormous breadth of the Governor’s latest directive and its focus on out-of-staters at a time when the state acknowledges that half of Rhode Islanders themselves are not following social distancing rules. A two-week quarantine solely for the ‘offense’ of coming from out of state, and with no opportunity to contest this demand, is deeply troubling.

“In addition, targeting out-of-staters like this can only promote a divisive ‘us vs. them’ mentality that encourages vilification of others. We fully appreciate that the state is dealing with an emergency crisis that requires emergency actions, but it should not be at the unwarranted expense of our civil rights.”

The cars are being stopped in order to obtain contact information from the driver and passengers, and to mandate a fourteen-day quarantine for those staying here. An earlier order required all cars with New York license plates to be stopped. The ACLU of Rhode Island’s statement on that earlier directive can be found here.

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