Senate Committee Approves Sanctuary City Bill – SB 275    

Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), Chairman of the Senate Labor and Regulatory Reform Committee and author of Senate Bill 275, released the following statement regarding committee passage of the bill on a 3-2 vote:

     “Senate Bill 275 prioritizes public safety, reconfirms our commitment to the rule-of-law, and establishes a clear state policy for cooperation with federal immigration authorities. We all agree that our current federal immigration system is broken and in need of significant reform.  However, officials at all levels have the solemn duty to comply with the laws that are in effect until changed through our process of self-government.”    

     Background on Senate Bill 275:

SB 275 would prohibit any city, village, town, or county in Wisconsin from enacting or enforcing an ordinance or policy that prohibits the enforcement of a federal or state law relating to illegal aliens or determining whether an individual has satisfactory immigration status. The bill also requires a political subdivision to comply with a lawful detainer that is issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The bill is directed specifically at illegal aliens that have committed a crime. 

SB 275 authorizes the attorney general, district attorney, or sheriff with jurisdiction to file a writ of mandamus with the circuit court to require compliance with the requirements created by the bill if a political subdivision is failing to comply with the law.

If a court finds that the political subdivision has failed to comply with the law, it must notify the Department of Revenue. The Department must reduce the local government’s shared revenue payments in the next year by $500 to $5,000 (depending on population) for each day of noncompliance.  In addition, if the court makes such a finding, the local unit of government is liable for damages to an individual or property caused by an illegal alien.