MILWAUKEE –The liberal Milwaukee County Board’s uber liberal, Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic. wants county taxpayers to pay for a legal defense fund for illegal immigrants.
The board’s Health and Human Needs Committee this week discussed a sweeping resolution simultaneously declaring Milwaukee a “safe place” for illegal immigrants and flipping off new President Donald Trump and his executive order stripping federal funds for so-called sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration laws.
Milwaukee County will “not be bullied,” the “anti-discrimination”resolution declares.
It is a resolution of heated rhetoric, but has no teeth.
So Dimitrijevic authored a substitute resolution with a provision that calls for the establishment of a legal defense fund to be used by the county to defend immigrants who face deportation. It also demands the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department refuse to assist the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in enforcing immigration law. In other words, it asks the sheriff to break the law.
An accompanying fiscal note in the resolution says the costs of such a program at present are unknown.
“How can we be approving this if the costs are unknown,” asked conservative Supervisor Deanna Alexander.
Alexander said the resolution might sound innocent on its face, but it isn’t.
“(Dimitrijevic) is asking other county employees, ‘We want to create a way for Milwaukee County taxpayers to pay for attorneys for illegal immigrants so they won’t get deported … I’m not sure how to do it, please write me a report so I have a road map on how to do this,’” Alexander told Wisconsin Watchdog Thursday on the Mark Belling Show, on NewsTalk 1130 WISN.
The full County Board takes up the original resolution Feb. 2. Dimitrijevic has said she will bring back her substitute resolution at the meeting.
And she will do so without the benefit of another public hearing, Alexander said.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has blasted the characterization of Milwaukee as a “sanctuary city,” but he says illegal immigrants “will not be persecuted” in his city.
That appears to mean they will not be deported.
The Milwaukee Police Department’s policy is not to inform federal immigration officials of the whereabouts or behavior of any suspected illegal immigrant unless the individual has been arrested on a serious criminal charge.
The board’s resolution goes beyond immigration and serves as a political tirade against the new Republican president, who this week said the United States will get to work on building a wall at its border with Mexico — one of Trumps major campaign promises.
Alexander called the county board measure an “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink resolution,” and “divisive, wasteful nonsense.”
“Under a false banner of valuing all people, it carelessly drives a wedge against anyone willing to give the new president an opportunity to help our nation and further polarizes our political climate,” Alexander said in a statement. “The resolution misleads the public with political rhetoric that would make it seem as if the White House has threatened citizens’ rights in every area of their lives — a claim that is simply not true and appears to be a County Board attempt at developing ‘alternative facts.’”
More so, Alexander said, the Milwaukee County Board just made it through another difficult budget in which county vehicle owners are forced to pay a $30 wheel tax to fund expanding government operations.
“We were told by the administration, by (Milwaukee County Executive) Chris Abele and the department heads, ‘Hey, we’re struggling to meet the needs of the county given all the current policies, so we need to have a wheel tax,’” Alexander said. “If we knew that months ago, why would be looking at something like this?”
“We have a heroin epidemic, we have crime in our streets, we had riots last summer. We have so many issues with law enforcement and crime and needs in our city and repairs in our infrastructure, and we’re talking about looking for extra money somewhere from the taxpayer to pay for attorneys for illegal immigrants?” Alexander asked.