Republican Wisconsin State Senator Stephen L. Nass who introduced SB 275, which is considered an anti-immigrant Sanctuary City bill wants to force law enforcement officials to commit an illegal act.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
October 14, 2017
Madison, WI – On Thursday, hundreds of Latinos and non-Latinos gave testimony at the Wisconsin State Senate Labor and Regulatory Reform Committee (LRRC) hearing on proposed Senate Bill 275, which is considered and an anti-immigrant bill, if approved by the state Republican controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Scott Walker (R), it would force law enforcement officials to commit an illegal act. The SB 275 bill was sponsored by State Senator Stephen L. Nass from La Grange, Wisconsin.
If SB 275 is approved, the Sanctuary City bill will prohibit resolutions, ordinances and policies that prohibit the enforcement of federal immigration federal laws by local and county governments, which would also allow elected officials to take legal action for non-compliance and provide a penalty to reduce share revenue payments.
The SB 275/AB 190 Relating to: prohibiting local ordinances, resolutions, and policies that prohibit the enforcement of federal or state law relating to illegal aliens or immigration status, authorizing certain elective officeholders to commence an enforcement action, providing a reduction in shared revenue payments, and creating governmental liability for damages caused by illegal aliens.
Most who gave testimony in front of the LRRC were against the bill and several were in favor including an alt-right group known as FIRM and the Badger State Sheriffs’ Association, Wisconsin Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriff’s Association released a statement saying, “We are not in favor of illegal immigration and do not support communities designating themselves as a “refuge” for illegal aliens. However, we have questions relating to the provision in the bill requiring compliance with any lawful detained issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While we support federal efforts to apprehend, hold, and deport criminals, the issue we are concerned that we cannot lawfully hold someone beyond what is allowed relating to their state charges and for the additional 48 hours under the bill for ICE to take physical custody of the person, without violating the person’s Constitutional rights. Case law from across the country has found that the prolonged detention without probably cause or warrant is unconstitutional.” The Galarza v. Szalczyk (2014) federal case in Pennsylvania became a landmark decision to declare that ICE detainers are merely requests and had no legal standing. Ernesto Galarza from New Jersey who is of Puerto Rican decent and U.S. Citizen was held illegally for three days in 2008 at the Lehigh County Prison over the constitutional limit due to a ICE request.
According to the ACLU in Pennsylvania who filed a lawsuit in behalf of Galarza reported that “in April 2012, the district court ruled largely in Galarza’s favor and denied most of the individual defendants’ motions to dismiss, holding that the local police investigator (Allentown police) who called ICE and ICE agent who issued the detainer could both be held liable for violating Galarza’s rights under the Fourth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. The district court granted Lehigh County’s motion to dismiss, however, and we appealed that portion of the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
“In May 2014, the Third Circuit ruled in our favor, holding that states and localities are not required to imprison people based on ICE detainers. The court recognized that ICE detainers are merely requests, that Lehigh County was free to disregard the ICE detainer, and that it therefore shares in the responsibility for violating Galarza’s Fourth Amendment and due process rights. The Third Circuit’s decision was the first Court of Appeals decision in the country to squarely address this issue, ” the ACLU in Pennsylvania reported.
Senator Nass also wants to penalize local and county governments for not enforcing federal immigration laws and who enact Sanctuary City ordinances, resolutions and policies, which could face between $500 up to $5,000 per day loss of share revenue from the state.
A federal judge in California place an injunction on President Donald Trump executive order that threaten to cut federal grant funding to sanctuary cities, county and municipalities, if they refused to enforce federal immigration laws, which enforcement is reserved for the federal government and not the states. The New York Times reported in April 2017 that, federal “judge, William H. Orrick of United States District Court, wrote that the president had overstepped his powers with his January executive order on immigration by tying billions of dollars in federal funding to immigration enforcement. Judge Orrick said only Congress could place such conditions on spending.
“The ruling, which applies nationwide, was another judicial setback for the Trump administration…”Senator Nass’s SB 275 bill was created as a copycat bill from Texas and based in an incident that happened in California involving the July 1, 2015 fatal shooting incident of Kathryn Steinle who was shot and killed in San Francisco by Francisco Sánchez, an undocumented immigrant who was a convicted felon who was previously deported five times by ICE. Nass blamed the San Francisco District Attorney’s office for refusing to prosecute a drug charge. Sánchez was released by ICE after serving a third prison term for entering the country illegally. San Francisco is a sanctuary city.
What Senator Nass failed to understand is that the federal government including ICE failed to apply the stiff sentences for re-entering the country illegally. According to ICE, if a person enters the country illegally, the first violation is a federal civil offense, which a person gets deported at a cost of more than $10,000 per person, the second re-entry violation is a federal offense with a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison and a third violation, an undocumented immigrant can get a federal prison term of 20 years in prison. So, who actually is at fault in the Sánchez case, it was the failure of the federal government and ICE including the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security not to fully apply the law and prison terms for re-entering the U.S. and not the local, county of state governments as Senator Nass’s argument to propose the SB 275 in Wisconsin attempts to imply.
No doubt, Senator Nass is trying to create a separate state immigration enforcement bill, which is an overreach of federal immigration laws that will definitely be challenged in a federal court as the similar Texas anti-immigrant SB 4 bill has been challenged and an injunction has been applied after the cities of El Cenizo, San Antonio and Houston filed lawsuits claiming it violated the 1st, 4th and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution including other violations as well.
Luz Sosa, Community Organizer for Acción Ciudadana de Wisconsin, Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, candidate for the Milwaukee County 12th Supervisor District and H. Nelson Goodson, from HNNUSA and immigrant rights activist testify against WI State Senate proposed anti-immigrant SB 275 bill https://youtu.be/dWEwDdHKUOY
LULAC Wisconsin and MALDEF testify against SB 275 http://bit.ly/2hI1s91
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera tells Wisconsin State Senator Stephen L. Nass (R) that his SB 275 is a racist bill http://bit.ly/2gG4HOK