Despite the prospect of losing millions of dollars in federal funding, the Milwaukee County Board has declared Milwaukee County a “sanctuary county.” The resolution was passed on a two-to-one margin after two hours of debate. Supervisor Marine Dimitrijevic authored the resolution.
“Some of the values and ideals that have been attacked by President Trump, we’ve now stood up against, and we’ve gone on record,” Dimitrijevic said. President Trump has signed an executive order promising to withdraw federal funding for local governments which refuse to help enforce federal immigration laws.
Supervisor Deanna Alexander ears the resolution will come back to haunt Milwaukee County. “It will have an effect, a ripple effect,” she said. “That ripple is going to have a tsunami wave effect against Milwaukee County.”
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke maintains his office will continue to use local resources to enforce federal immigration laws.
Meanwhile a Republican lawmaker from suburban Milwaukee has reintroduced legislation that would prohibit counties and municipalities from enacting ordinances, resolutions or policies that stop public workers from asking immigrants about their legal status, or not telling immigration enforcers about those living illegally.
The bill from state Representative Janel Brandtjen of Menomonee Falls includes fines of between $500 and $5,000 per day in state funding. It’s similar to a measure that passed the state Assembly in 2016 but which failed to come to a vote in the Senate. Brandtjen’s bill differs from that in that it would residents to sue sanctuary communities. The previous version left it to sheriffs, district attorneys, and the state Justice Department to file such lawsuits. The immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera plans a February 13th rally to oppose the sanctuary cities ban, among other things.