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.