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Monday, June 27, 2022

Immigration bill takes cues from Arizona policy

An immigration bill drafted by a state Republican lawmaker would allow police in Wisconsin to ask for identification if immigrants break the law.

The bill's author, Rep. Don Pridemore, R-Hartford, said the proposal was influenced by Arizona's immigration legislation passed in April. He said illegal immigrants are leaving Arizona for other states.

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""I don't want Wisconsin to become a destination for these people,"" Pridemore said.

The proposed law would not require people to have legal immigration documents on them at all times as the Arizona law demands, Pridemore said.  He said those who have their papers requested after a law violation will be given 48 hours to present legal documents to authorities.

""I want Wisconsin to be on record as supporting Arizona and of course to get the federal government to enforce their own laws and protect the citizens of the state of Wisconsin,"" Pridemore said.

Under the law, citizens would be able to sue government officials if they suspected officials were not enforcing the immigration law. Communities not complying with the law could be fined $500 per day.

Madison is the only ""sanctuary city"" in the state, an area that does not allow city funds to be used for immigration enforcement. Pridemore said the bill would prevent city law from impeding.

The bill is in its second draft and may be introduced to state legislators early next year, Pridemore said.  He said he is unsure how soon Governor-elect Scott Walker would address immigration because job creation is Walker's number one priority.

""I think this would probably fall in the secondary priority level for the governor, but I certainly believe he will support it,"" Pridemore said.

In May, Walker said he was concerned with Arizona's immigration law. Later that month, he said he would sign an immigration bill similar to Arizona's.

Walker has not commented on the newly drafted bill.

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