Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate are seeking co-sponsors on a bill that would make Wisconsin a sanctuary state by prohibiting municipalities and local law enforcement agencies from entering into contracts with the federal government to detain illegal immigrants.
The authors of LRB-3233, Representatives Marisabel Cabrera, Jonathan Brostoff, Chris Taylor, and Senator Chris Larson have been circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum since late July and legislators have until August 30th to decide whether add their names to the legislation.
"In recent years, much attention has been brought to the practice of immigration detention in the United States," the memo states. "Undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers, especially from Mexico and the Central American nations of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, have been separated from their families and communities and forced into overcrowded and often-inhumane conditions at detention facilities while awaiting legal proceedings or deportation actions.
"LRB-3233 would bring an end to immigration detention in Wisconsin by disallowing local governmental units from entering into contracts with the federal government to house or detain individuals for civil immigration offenses and by barring the Department of Corrections from approving any facility that is proposed for the purpose of immigration detention."
This would effectively make Wisconsin a sanctuary state by prohibiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities on civil detention. The measure has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Rep. Taylor has also joined fellow Representatives Jimmy Anderson, JoCasta Zamarripa, and Senators Tim Carpenter and Janis Ringhand in circulating a separate bill that would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition in the University of Wisconsin System even though they are not legal Wisconsin residents. According to their memo:
LRB-1673 would allow undocumented students to pay resident tuition if: 1) he or she graduated from a Wisconsin high school or received a declaration of equivalency of high school graduation from Wisconsin; 2) he or she was continuously present in Wisconsin for at least three years following the first day of attending a Wisconsin high school or immediately preceding receipt of a declaration of equivalency of high school graduation; and 3) he or she enrolls in a UW System institution and provides the institution with an affidavit stating that he or she has filed or will file an application for permanent residency with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
Legislators have until Friday to decide whether they want to co-sponsor the bill.