Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pridemore, Wisconsin State Legislator Introduced Similar Arizona Immigration Bill

Representative Donald Pridemore

Wisconsin immigration bill will cost taxpayers an estimated $250 million to defend, including from a state boycott keeping away tourist spending, lack of revenue in taxes and wages.

By H. Nelson Goodson
May 24, 2011

Madison - On Monday, State Representative Donald Pride (R-Hartford) announced through a press release that he introduced a similar Arizona immigration bill in an Assembly committee. The immigration bill would have to pass the committee first before it proceeds to the whole state Assembly for its approval. The bill would then head for the full Senate to be approved, which both the Assembly and Senate are controlled by Republicans. Finally, the immigration bill would end up at Governor Scott Walker's desk for his signature to make it law. Walker has promised to sign such a bill into law.
On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that spokesmen for Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and Governor Walker said that Pridemore's immigration bill is a low priority and legislators will eventually discuss the bill in the near future. GOP leaders and Governor Walker are focusing on the budget and jobs creations for now.
Pridemore began working on the bill on August 2010 and has gone through four revisions to eliminate any racial profiling. The bill prevents local governments in Wisconsin from providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants and to keep them from getting any taxpayer funded benefits, which they are not entitled too, according to Pridemore.
Illegal immigrants and their children in Wisconsin are subject too and do pay taxes by law, but continue to be discriminated against benefiting from their own fruits. Currently, state Republicans are pushing to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students attending universities and colleges in the state.
Pridemore's statement, “This is an action that should have begun long ago when the federal government and the current administration stopped efforts to secure our borders. Now that the illegal drug trade and human trafficking have put the lives and property of those along our borders in peril, we must do all we can to dissuade the criminal element from looking at Wisconsin as a safe haven,” Pridemore said. “The ‘status quo’ is unacceptable in terms of the costs of law enforcement, crime, taxes, and social benefits, along with a host of other social problems tied to the issue. To simply do nothing would sentence another generation of families to a life of hiding in car trunks, continuously looking over their shoulder and continuing to be slaves of their work environment,” Pridemore explained. Pridemore's reasons to introduce the immigration bill are very extreme and failed to inform taxpayers it will cost them millions of dollars to defend it, if legally challenged and about state economic boycotts his bill will ignite. Wisconsin is facing a $3.6 billion dollar deficit and the immigration bill will create more division among the population. The immigration bill will lead to racial profiling in the state regardless of Pridemore's intend to limit it.
“However,” Pridemore added, “we will take strong measures to ensure that the bill does not promote racial profiling.” Under the new bill, a law enforcement officer may not consider a person’s race, color, or national origin when conducting an investigation. Nor will local law enforcement be allowed to determine a person’s immigration status. Reasonable suspicion of breaking this law can only begin after the 48 hour period of not providing identification has passed.
An individual who has first broken the law, and then fails to prove his or her lawful presence in the U.S., may be held for up to 48 hours. During that time the person will be allowed to obtain appropriate documentation. If the person cannot produce the required documents, the matter will be referred to federal immigration services, according to Pridemore.
Two states, Arizona and Georgia have enacted immigration bills giving authority to local authorities to question the legal status of suspects stopped during traffic violations and domestic investigations, but they have become stalled through legal challenges by the ACLU, civil rights organizations and clergy groups. In contrary to both Arizona and Georgia, the state of Utah passed an immigration bill allowing illegal immigrants and their families to seek permits to reside and work in the state subject to federal government approval.
In Arizona where such a bill SB 1070 was first approved has cost taxpayers millions of dollars to defend it, after the U.S. Department of Justice challenged it in federal court. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) plans to take the bill to the U.S. Supreme Court after a federal appeals court ruled that the lower court acted appropriately to block key provisions of SB 1070 making it useless.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Voces de la Frontera, the clergy and other groups have vowed to legally challenge the Wisconsin immigration bill once it is approved by Governor Walker. Voces de la Frontera plans to mobilize major protests against Pridemore's anti-immigrant bill.
Voces in a press release says, Representative Pridemore's bill requires law enforcement officers in Wisconsin to interrogate people they detain about their immigration status, if they have "reasonable suspicion" that the person is undocumented is a vague term. The vagueness of the term "reasonable suspicion" is exactly what gives cover to legalizing racial profiling.
"We will not tolerate this vicious bill, designed to lead directly to racial profiling and the criminalization of innocent people. Voces is prepared to mobilize widely in opposition." says Primitivo Torres, president of Voces de la Frontera.
The Center for American Progress estimates that boycotts agains Arizona in response to SB 1070 could also cost Wisconsin more than $250 million in taxes, tourist spending and wages. Pridemore's bill is designed to do the same to Wisconsin, a state already facing economic challenges.
This legislation also violates U.S. Constitutional rules, including the denial of Fourteenth Amendment equal protection guarantees, because it illegally encourages racial discrimination against Latinos and other people having foreign appearance or who sound foreign. By interfering with the federal government's authority to regulate and enforce immigration law, it also opposes the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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1 comment:

sensible discussion said...

The country needs to increase it's population by increasing immigration. All of the studies have shown that in North America, throughout it's history whenever there has been a massive influx of immigrants into the country there have been economic booms. The ignorant continue to assume that new immigrants take away jobs. The facts show this to be a mere creation by those who are prejudice.