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Bill introduced that would penalize 'sanctuary cities'

Bill would fine municipalities $500-$5,000

MADISON, Wis. - A state lawmaker is circulating a bill that would penalize so-called "sanctuary cities."

Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, has introduced a measure that would make it illegal for cities, towns and counties to pass measures to prevent law enforcement officers from asking about immigration status or notifying the federal government of the location of those who are in the state illegally. If local governments violated the law, they could face fines of $500 to $5,000 a day.

"We are a nation of laws and having that ability to pick and choose laws, it sets dangerous precedent going forward," said Brandtjen.

A similar bill was proposed last session and faced major protests at the Capitol.

Brandtjen believes the bill may affect such places as Madison or Dane County, which she believes are considered sanctuary cities.

"There are bad apples that need to be removed from our community to keep them safe," Brandtjen said. "I'm asking municipalities-- this is about asking them to uphold the law that exists."

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Madison Police Chief Mike Koval recently reaffirmed that officers do not ask about immigration status when making an arrest. In a statement, Soglin told News 3, "We are focused on opposing this strenuously."

A spokeswoman for Dane County said the county is asking legal counsel to review the bill to see what, if any, impact it would have.  Dane County Sheriff's Office deputies do ask about immigration status upon jail booking and notify federal officials. 


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