Democrats at odds over illegal immigration legislation

On June 27, Democratic State Senators Dave Hansen, Bob Wirch, Jim Holperin, John Erpenbach, and Tim Carpenter introduced Senate Bill 137, a bill that would make “companies that hire persons who are not legally in the United States ineligible for certain tax exemptions, governmental contracts, grants, and loans, granting rule−making authority, and providing penalties.”

The penalties imposed by the bill on companies that hire illegal immigrants include a 7-year ban barring those companies from receiving any tax exemptions or tax credits, from entering into a public contract with a local governmental unit, from receiving any grants or loans from a local governmental unit, and from entering into a contract for the purchase of materials, supplies, equipment, or contractual services with any agency. The bill would also impose a $10,000 fine on companies for each person who is not legally in the United States hired by those companies.

In response to the anti-illegal immigrant legislation introduced by Democratic State Senators, Democratic State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa of Milwaukee issued a highly critical statement regarding SB 137:

“As we prepare to celebrate our country’s Independence Day on July 4th, we must keep in mind that we are a nation founded by immigrants and we should be celebrating our diversity. Proposals, such as SB 137, are yet another failed attempt to fix a broken federal immigration system at the state level,” said Zamarripa. “While I share the frustration that we need tough, fair, and comprehensive immigration reform, I am tired of members of both political parties demagoguing on the issue of immigration reform. Immigration is a federal responsibility that can only be successfully addressed by the United States Congress and the President.”

It will be interesting to see if SB 137 gains any traction in the legislature, but given the anti-illegal immigrant ideology of Republicans, it seems logical that they’d put aside partisanship and support SB 137.


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3 thoughts on “Democrats at odds over illegal immigration legislation

  1. I do not have the solution for the immigration issue. I do not think it is appropriate at the state level however, these are national borders we are talking about, it’s not about not Flatlanders sneaking up to take away our Menard’s jobs.

    I think this looks like political gaming on the part of these Democrats. I agree with Ms. Z…. in that respect. Do Democrats need to pick up MORE Republican issues and talking points and look like Me Too Kids (repeatedly)? They do not.
    This does not look bold or decisive. It does not look like a practical across-the-aisle gesture. It looks like Parroting.

    In addition, I’m not normally hawking the concerns of business but that’s not what business is for – to be the go-to guy of border safety. If guys with guns and fancy-schmancy fenced check points can’t keep illegals out, really, it’s the responsibility of some person sitting at the HR desk?
    If a business BENEFITS from the “failures” of government policing, that might be annoying. But they are NOT the police/security infrastructure of the nation. So it’s all just dumb.

    At the bottom of the issue, it would be nice if we had a less hostile immigration attitude, since I run into an actual native American maybe once or so a year, I think we can all shut our pieholes about these supposed undesirables. Ain’t none of us got a leg to stand on. We’re all immigrants.

  2. Zamarripa wrong on SB 137
    by Robert Miranda
    “Taking Sides”
    Spanish Journal
    July 15, 2011

    Wisconsin’s first Latina State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa was way off base in her attack of a state bill introduced by State Senate Democrats, Dave Hansen, Robert Wirch, Jon Erpenbach, Jim Holperin and Tim Carpenter and one State Representative Tony Staskunas (Co-author).

    Senate Bill 137 would keep state funds, contracts, loans and grants from
    employers who hire undocumented immigrants. It would also allow penalties of up to $10,000 fine for each illegal worker hired. The bill was introduced in the Labor, Public Safety and Urban Affairs Senate committee.

    Zamarripa other than saying the bill is divisive and does not address the issue of undocumented immigration, which is to say that Zamarripa has no practical alternative nor a vision of her own as to what to do about the undocumented immigration crises, believes the bill should be scrapped.

    Well, she is wrong.

    There is ample evidence, research and studies that clearly indicate that the hiring of undocumented immigrant workers increases economic hardships on low-skilled documented workers, takes away opportunities for documented workers and creates an imbalance in the U.S. labor standards.

    One report released by Wharton School and Cornell University argues that U.S. businesses in the construction, food service and delivery i
    ndustries hiring undocumented workers is not only the norm, but a requirement in an increasingly competitive economy that constantly forces companies to cut costs while adding profits.

    The Wharton/Cornell report maintains that undocumented workers exert downward pressure on wages and reduce job opportunities for low-skilled U.S. citizens and immigrants who are in country with valid documentation. The report goes on to say that not holding American employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers severely compromises the labor standards for U.S. citizens and
    documented immigrants.

    To not hold employers who hire undocumented workers accountable is to support the actions of these employers who only hire these workers to exploit their labor and mistreat them at the work place. Removing undocumented immigrants out of the labor force is a first order of business for policymakers.

    Zamarripa, however, made friends with these corporations and their allies who balk at the prospects of agreeing to better union contracts and added benefit expenses for workers, thus often demanding concessions from U.S. citizens and documented workers.

    Voces de la Frontera will condemn this article and say that it is divisive and anti-immigrant, but I differ with the more irrational and counter-productive views of this organization’s leadership. They argue that undocumented workers often perform jobs Americans refuse to do, including hazardous jobs, menial labor, and low-wage work.

    This is a myth. Undocumented immigrants are hired for these jobs not because Americans refuse them, but because Americans are not willing to perform such tasks where the wages are lower than they would be if such cheap source of labor were not available.

    Look, the undocumented worker brings good work ethic to the American labor landscape; they work hard, did not come here to receive welfare, and should be allowed to remain in the U.S. after paying penalties.

    Companies will continue to hire undocumented workers because they do not have to abide by established labor laws, provide adequate working conditions and invest in capital improvements. Hell, some undocumented workers are working basically as slaves in some areas of the country.

    To just come forward to say that SB 137 is “divisive” indicates lazy research and innate ignornce of the issue of undocumented immigration.

    Turning a blind eye to undocumented workers, as U.S. immigration authorities have done, harms U.S. citizens, documented immigrants and the undocumented.

  3. The Democrats promise and never deliver as normal I read We will extend the promise of citizenship to those still struggling for freedom and Democrats support reforming the INS ETC. Well my friends I am here totell you THIS IS A LIE!!!!!!! My friend (an Isralie) tried to get an L1A visa to open a business here in the US his current business (100% internet based)grosses over 1.000,000.00 per year. My friend wanted to invest in real estste here and wanted to help provide housing for the poor by accepting section 8 etc.  Homeland Security approved his application…HOWEVER State in Tel Aviv returned it (by the way this is totally against their rules as stated in the FAM laws) with no reason given and it took almost a month to get the reason. By the time he had received the reason and  had compiled the documents to show that the reason given was 100% wrong, Homeland Security, sided with State and reversed their approval. My friend was so hurt by this obvious slap in theface, not to mention an additional $10-$15,000 in additional attorneys fees (he had already spent $20,000.00) he said to heck with it and the US. Thank You Democratic Party for your help on not only Immigration but the economy and poor housing market for a wonderful job…..NOT!!!!! I don’t expect the do nothing party (Democrats) to care about this or even do a thing about it BUT I though the public should know what lies are being fed to us. However should any Democrat want to actually do something contact me at but be ready to really do something about this and NOT waste my time!!!

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