SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES
WISCONSIN HAS ONE OR MORE CITIES OFFERING
Dane County, Wisconsin
New immigration rules are affecting Wisconsin Dells
AP, May 25, 2008
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. - Some Wisconsin Dells employers are facing an international labor shortage this summer because of changes to a national temporary guest-worker program and the weak American dollar.
Tommy Bartlett Show & Exploratory General Manager Tom Diehl is feeling the change.
"We have 27 (foreign workers) this year," Diehl said before the Tommy Bartlett Show opened its season Friday night. "Usually, we have no less than 60."
The nationwide crunch among tourist-town employers comes after Congress failed to renew a provision that exempted returning foreign guest workers from counting toward the limit of 66,000 per year.
Ryan says immigration reform should be incremental
BY BRIDGET THORESON for the Journal Times, April 22, 2008
RACINE — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Monday night that immigration reform will require a step-by-step approach.
Ryan spoke to about 50 people at St. Patrick’s Church, 1111 Douglas Ave., at a bilingual listening session geared toward the Hispanic community.
“I believe we have to do incremental reform for immigration laws if we want to get anything past Congress,” Ryan said. “You’re going to have to break it up into pieces.”
Ed Salinas, 49, of Racine, asked Ryan how he would fight what Salinas called “the racism that’s cloaked in patriotism,” with groups who discriminate against Hispanics while saying they are defending America.
“The key is separating those people who are just bigots from everybody else,” Ryan said.
Ryan said he would say that attitude carried a tinge of xenophobia, where people fear people from another country. Americans have been getting angry about immigration, Ryan said, for example in the case of illegal immigrant Ezequiel Lopez-Quintero, who was convicted of killing Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Fabiano Jr.
“You see these things and it’s creating so much anger in our communities,” Ryan said. “The more we delay fixing this problem, the worse this is going to be.”
He proposed focusing on border enforcement first, by providing legal border checkpoints and a guest worker program that would separate economic immigrants seeking jobs from what he called criminal immigrants. In an exchange with Yolanda Adams, the chief executive officer of the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha and the state director for the League of Latin American Citizens, Ryan said this was one of the best ways to police the border.
Wisconsin / Human trafficking too often unnoticed in state, report says
Senate to vote Tuesday on bill outlawing practice
BY TODD RICHMOND for the Associated Press, February 23, 2008
MADISON - Human trafficking is happening in Wisconsin, but most law enforcement agencies haven't received any training to recognize the crime and don't consider it a problem, a new state report says.
The Office of Justice Assistance study marks the first attempt to gauge trafficking in the state. It concluded international and domestic trafficking involving dozens of victims is taking place in urban and rural areas across much of the southern two-thirds of the state.
But three-quarters of the justice agencies and more than a third of social services providers surveyed in the study said trafficking is not a serious problem or isn't a problem at all.
"This is an indication of the lack of awareness," the report said. "At the very least, the results indicate a need for training and education."
The state Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill that would outlaw human trafficking. Anyone caught trafficking a person for sex or labor would face up to $100,000 in fines and 25 years in prison. Anyone caught trafficking a minor could get 40 years.
Sen. Spencer Coggs, D-Milwaukee, the author of the bill, said the report could drive him to amend it to include police training.
Feds arrest 20 immigrants during sweeps in Fond du Lac, West Bend
By COLIN FLY, Associated Press, February 6, 2008
MILWAUKEE - Federal immigration agents swept through Fond du Lac and West Bend on Tuesday, arresting one woman along with 20 illegal immigrant workers while executing five search warrants.
Grothman’s bill would prevent ‘sanctuary cities’
Senator aims to eliminate safe harbors for illegal aliens
By ZAK MAZUR - GM Today Staff
September 19, 2007
State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and Rep. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) introduced legislation Tuesday to prevent local governments from declaring themselves sanctuary cities for illegal aliens.
Sanctuary cities protect illegal aliens through local resolutions, executive orders or city ordinances. City police departments may also issue their own special orders, policies and general orders to a similar effect.
The bills would prohibit cities, towns, villages and counties from enacting policies that allow them to prohibit workers and agencies from asking about legal citizenship status.
Impetus for the legislation came from an attempt by an activist group in Racine to pass a city ordinance that would prevent local police from asking about a person’s citizenship status or requesting citizenship documents, Grothman said. Additionally, comments made by Dane County executive Kathleen Falk about sanctuaries also concerned Grothman.
"When a county executive in Wisconsin brags that her county doesn’t allow its employees to ask about legal status, someone must step in when local governments abdicate their responsibility to police criminal aliens," said Grothman.
"There is no excuse to grant criminal aliens a safe harbor any place in Wisconsin," said Roth. "Police in Wisconsin should be allowed to do their job and see that criminal aliens are not allowed to live invisibly among our communities. We must act to give our law enforcement the tools to keep our families safe."
Proposed bill bans sanctuary for illegal immigrants
by Christie Taylor for Badger News
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
State Republicans introduced legislation Tuesday restricting local governments from offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants throughout Wisconsin.
Under the new bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, and Rep. Roger Roth, R-Grand Chute, cities and counties would be unable to pass laws prohibiting government employees from demanding proof of immigration status or notifying the federal government of the presence of illegal aliens.
Currently, Dane County has an ordinance blocking government workers from asking for proof of citizenship.
Racine, which may soon become a sanctuary city, has also faced pressure from activists to prohibit inquiries about legal status.
Alex Gillis, political secretary for the Wisconsin Immigrant Workers Union, said the legislation is “another move for the anti-immigrant people in this state.” He blamed the federal government for failing to provide a solution and forcing the states to take up the slack.
Roth said he was unsure how many state employees already ask about immigration status.
“My guess is they probably don’t,” Roth said. “But if they feel it’s in the public safety, they should be allowed to do that.”
Calling the legislation a “prohibition against sanctuary cities,” Roth added he sees a growing trend toward increasing the number of sanctuary communities in Wisconsin.
Roth said such communities are a danger to the public because illegal immigrants who commit crimes there are able to repeat their offenses instead of being dealt with by immigration officials. Roth cited a recent incident in New York City, where a woman was attacked and raped by five men, three of whom were illegal immigrants with criminal records.
Roth said if the police had known the men were illegal immigrants, these crimes would never have happened.
“Because New York is a sanctuary city where they do not allow law enforcement to ascertain this information, these men were released to go and commit these crimes again,” Roth said.
But the government may be creating more safety problems than it’s solving, Gillis said. As of April 1, illegal immigrants in Wisconsin have no access to state-issued identification, leaving a potentially large security hole.
“The last thing [you want to do] to secure the citizens and secure a society … is make people so they can’t be identified,” Gillis said.
Roth stressed that, if passed, the bill would only maintain a status quo in which law enforcement have the choice to ask for immigration status in the interest of safety.
“This is meant to allow law enforcement to do their jobs,” Roth said. “We just want to make sure that they’re not going into any situation or circumstance where their hands are tied.”
But Gillis said illegal immigrants are unfairly oppressed and forced into “the shadows” by a society that needs them.
“We don’t have the papers, but we are doing what the economy wants us to do, which is work in this country,” Gillis said.
Alfonso Morales, social sciences professor at the University of Wisconsin, dismissed the law. He said if it passed, it would not have any practical consequences.
“I’m not sure how this could be enforced if it became law,” he said in an e-mail to The Badger Herald. “This is largely a symbolic act.”
Roth said much work remains to be done on the bill before any action is taken.