Madison City leaders pass immigration policy resolution - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison City leaders pass immigration policy resolution


MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison city leaders passed a resolution dealing with immigrant policies that basically says they won't follow in Arizona's footsteps.

Protests have erupted in cities across the U.S. on Arizona's law that requires police to check the status of anyone they feel is in the state illegally.

Minorities in Madison feel that the law there will cause backlash here.

"You have to look at this and say, ask yourself do you have your citizenship. Right now if you do not, are you willing to carry it? I feel like if I am asked my citizenship,- so should you," said Kabzuag Vaj during public comment at Madison's Common Council Meeting.

The room was packed with people voicing their support for the resolution that says the city will oppose any law that encourages discrimination based on race.

Alder Shiva Bidar-Sielaff says it gives the minority community piece of mind.

"Madison has a tradition of social justice of civil rights and we wanted to affirm that's where we are as a community," Bidar-Sielaff said.

The resolution also asks law enforcement not to target immigrants solely on their legal status.

That includes the Dane County Sheriff's Department which refers all immigrants booked in the jail to immigration.

"Immigrants and Latinos are scared to call 911 when they see crimes around them or even when they are harmed," said Fabiola Hamdan, who spoke in favor of the resolution.

Hamdan and other speakers said they don't report crimes because some immigrants are afraid they'd be deported.

City leaders say they need the minority communities trust for public safety.

But the minority community says at this point there is more fear than trust.

Madison leaders have no jurisdiction over the Dane County Sheriff's Department and the resolution does not change any laws.

Sponsor Bidar-Sielaff says its a symbolic way to tell Madison's minority community that they are on their side.


MADISON (WKOW) -- City leaders will take up a resolution that sends a message to its minority community saying what happened in Arizona won't happen in Madison.

It opposes local immigration policies that encourage discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity and immigration status.

Hundreds of people in Madison joined thousands across the country on May Day protesting Arizona's controversial immigration law.

It requires police to check the legal status of people they think are illegal immigrants.

Brian Rodriguez will talk to the resolution's sponsor and others about what this would mean to Madison's minority community.

Brian will have updates on 27 News at 6 and 10 p.m.

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