Mayor ‘deeply troubled’ by portion of proposed-resolution language

Mayor ‘deeply troubled’ by portion of proposed-resolution language

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said he is “deeply troubled” by part of the “reckless” language in a potential resolution circulating city council to update the city’s sanctuary city status.

At a news conference in downtown Madison Wednesday, Soglin said he supports the majority of the resolution’s effort to reaffirm Madison’s sanctuary city status. But he said he’ll veto the entire resolution if it’s proposed with language that declares the city council offices a “safe space” for immigrants, a provision he called “disastrous.”

“I see little value and a great deal of risk in such an action,” Soglin said. He said it isn’t practical and that the provision could provoke the state Legislature into reconsidering suspending state funding to so-called sanctuary cities. Two years ago the state assembly passed a measure to do so, but the Senate didn’t take it up.

The resolution is a reaction to President Trump’s executive order signed Jan. 25 that blocks refugees from entering the United States for 120 days and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

“We have made the point that we are a sanctuary city. We are committed to justice, the law is on our side,” Soglin said. “Let us avoid a futile gesture that may make us feel good but does not add to the sanctity of our position and only creates enormous risk.”

District 5 Alder Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, who proposed the resolution, said she expects strong community turnout when the common council likely brings it up at its meeting Tuesday.

“This is the time for us to stand up, to rise up and be bolder and really be strong and really put in practice our values,” Bidar-Sielaff said.

Soglin said the majority of the resolution modernizes the city’s position and brings it in alignment with city policies and procedures. The resolution would also have prohibited the city from using city funds to enforce immigration laws.