Dane County Executive Joe Parisi wants to help immigrant residents gain citizenship and better attain services. At a press conference in Madison Thursday, Parisi said all sectors of the Dane County economy – urban and rural – are at least partially reliant on immigrants.
“We need immigrants in this community. We are the fastest growing, highest job creating community in this state, and we need workers. We need their input. We need everything that our immigrant community brings to us,” Parisi said.
Noting the uncertainty that many immigrant communities are attempting to deal with under the new presidential administration of Donald Trump, Parisi announced a pair of initiatives. He’ll create a new a new position — Immigrant Affairs Specialist — and a new Immigration Assistance Fund.
The county will approach the business and philanthropic community to build the fund after providing $75,000 in seed money. The fund will be administered by an organization that wins a competitive process.
Earlier this week, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele signed a resolution solidifying the county’s status as a sanctuary community, despite the misgivings of some supervisors who worried it might lead to a loss of federal funding.
Parisi described the Dane County initiatives a nuts and bolts approach. “It’s going to help the residents of our community. It’s going to help our local economy.”