MADISON — Governor Scott Walker says he doesn't expect the Wisconsin Senate will pass a bill banning sanctuary cities, and he's "just fine with that."
Walker said Wednesday, February 24th that his focus is on bills that help improve the state's economy.
The Assembly last week passed the bill that says local governments can't prohibit police from inquiring about immigration status of someone charged with a crime or from working with federal immigration authorities.
The measure has drawn strong opposition from the immigrant community in Wisconsin who feel they are being unfairly targeted. About 15,000 people, many of them Latinos, protested against the measure at the Capitol last week.
Supporters say the measure is about protecting people from law breakers.
Voces de la Frontera officials released the following statement:
“Governor Walker’s latest statements show that pressure from all over Wisconsin is working,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “We urge employers, workers, students and their families to continue to call Governor Walker and sign the online petition to ensure that he makes a public commitment to veto SB533 and continue to oppose AB450’s passage in the Senate.
The truth is, we will not know if AB450 is really dead until March 15th, the last day the Senate will be in session, so Voces de la Frontera will be organizing local actions across Wisconsin in areas where the largest number of Latinos and immigrants live to continue to give voice to the statewide opposition to these anti-immigrant, racist bills.
Just this week Arizona's state legislature voted down bills similar to Wisconsin’s so-called anti-sanctuary city bill and the bill blocking local ID card programs. “Wisconsin Is Not Arizona” has become a rallying call in farms, cities, and towns throughout Wisconsin in reference to Arizona’s racist, anti-immigrant SB1070 law that ignited a national boycott of the state. It would be a disgrace if Wisconsin passed such laws after Arizona voted them down.
The people of Wisconsin sent a clear message to Governor Walker that Wisconsin rejects such laws, and on the contrary the contributions of immigrants and Latinos are a critical part of our state. In the same way the grassroots resistance to Arizona’s law garnered national attention, so too has the strong resistance in Wisconsin garnered national and international attention. If Governor Walker does not want Wisconsin to become known as an intolerant, xenophobic state whose policies damage the economy, he needs to commit to veto the anti-local ID bill SB533 and commit to veto AB450 if it were to reach his desk.”