Oppose Pridemore’s Arizona Copycat Bill in Wisconsin

by Elena Lavarreda, Statewide Organizer, Voces de la Frontera

Please oppose State Representative Pridemore’s proposed Arizona copycat bill in Wisconsin that would essentially enact laws legalizing racial profiling by requiring law enforcement to question people they have an undefined “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented.

This law would violate the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, which affirms the sole role of the federal government in regulating immigration, by creating a patchwork of contradictory state laws.

It would violate the Fifth Amendment rights of people of color and immigrants to due process by establishing an arbitrary 48 hour time limit for an individual to prove legal residency or risk being arrested, jailed, and deported; and undermine 14th Amendment rights of people of color to equal treatment under the law.

This law would also undermine common sense community policing policies that encourage undocumented immigrants to report or participate in investigations as witnesses or victims of crimes.

The experience with laws like Arizona’s SB1070 has been an overwhelming negative for states and local governments. Such laws have failed in the courts, cost millions of dollars to local and state economies, undermined public safety, and poisoned community relations.

Wisconsin’s Latino community alone has grown by 74% since the 2000 census. It is a critical contributor to small business creation, jobs, taxes, and consumer spending. Immigrants also represent an important part of Wisconsin’s signature industry; the dairy industry, representing 40% of the workforce. Immigrants are an integral part of our communities and churches.

Given the challenges that face the State, Wisconsin should focus on creating jobs and opportunity. Laws like Arizona’s SB1070 are a destructive and costly diversion from the important work we must do to get Wisconsin working again.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on March 31, 2011

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