Hundreds of Hispanics are expected to converge at the capitol in Madison to protest several proposed anti-immigrant bills by the Republican controlled legislature.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
February 2, 2016
Madison, WI – On Wednesday, hundreds of Hispanics from around Wisconsin are expected to converge at the state capitol in Madison to protest against several proposed anti-immigrant bills Assembly Bill 450 and Senate Bill 533. The AB 450 bill has been tabled by the Committee on Urban and Local Affairs and a scheduled hearing is pending once they decide when to bring up the bill for discussion again. The bill would prohibit cities and townships from creating sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants and preventing policies prohibiting police or public employees from asking the legal status of immigrants. It would also fined cities and townships up to $5,000 a day and anyone could request an investigation and file a legal court action on policies that prohibit public employees and police from reporting undocumented immigrants to the U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement. A federal judge ruling in Arizona allows for police to ask the legal status of undocumented immigrants, but immigration enforcement is exclusively reserved for the federal government the judge ruled.
Two opposing views among State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milw.) and State Representative Yesenia Eldermira “Jessie” Rodriquez (R-Oak Creek), Zamarripa is against AB 450 and Rodriguez votes along Republican party lines, which favor passing anti-immigrant bills.
The SB 533 bill prohibits any city and state county from establishing an identification card. The State of Wisconsin provides state ID’s and licenses to drive, but does not allow undocumented immigrants to apply for them.
Voces de la Frontera (VDLF), a workers and immigrant rights non-profit organization in Milwaukee announced that they will hold a press conference at the capitol on Wednesday. VDLF released the following statement, “…a coalition including immigrant community leaders will hold hold a press conference in the Assembly Parlor of the Wisconsin State Capitol to call on Governor Walker and state lawmakers to oppose anti-immigrant bills currently before the state legislature. One bill, SB 533, aims to block a program created by the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to provide local identification cards to residents who cannot obtain Wisconisn state ID. Another bill, AB 450, would lead to police investigating immigration status and detaining undocumented people for deportation.
“The press conference comes the same day as the Elections and Local Government Committee of the Wisconsin State Senate holds a vote on SB 533 at 1p.m. in Room 330 Southwest.
“Following the press conference, the community members and advocates will deliver a letter to Governor Walker and visit lawmakers asking them to oppose the bills,” VDLF reported.
Update: The Elections and Local Government Committee voted 3-2 in favor of the SB 533 on Wednesday. The bill moves to the full State Senate for debate and a vote. The State Assembly would have to approve their version of the bill and then it would head to the governor’s office for his signature.