In recent weeks we have been following two anti-immigration bills written and proposed in the State Legislature. We witnessed the passing of these bills through the State Assembly and Senate last week.
The first bill prohibits towns and counties from issuing, or expending funds for the issuance of a photo identification card for any resident of the town or county other than an employment-related identification card for employees of the town or county. Cities like New York have issued identification cards to their residents and have helped immigrants obtain photo identification cards.
The second bill prohibits a city, village, town, or county from enacting or enforcing an ordinance, resolution or policy that prohibits an employee of that subdivision from inquiring about the immigration status of an individual who has been lawfully detained or arrested or from otherwise cooperating with or assisting the federal government with immigration enforcement.
The City of Madison values the diversity of its community and we are committed to providing a safe and healthy place for all to live, learn, work and play. We aim to provide an inclusive environment where all of our residents, despite their immigration status, feel a part of this community.
The Department of Civil Right’s mission is to be a catalyst for change and to strive to improve the quality of life for all people and to promote equality.
This type of legislation sends a negative message and we stand against any legislation that will negatively impact our most vulnerable communities.
Immigration enforcement is, first and foremost, a federal responsibility. The job of the police department is to keep this community safe. We should not shift immigration enforcement onto local police departments. The City of Madison has developed trust and reduced barriers between the City of Madison Police Department and the Latino community through innovative trust-based policing programs such as Amigos en Azul.
The City of Madison will continue efforts to ensure that we provide a place where everyone feels safe and where we recognize and appreciate the diversity of our great city.