Falk Statement on Senator Grothman Attack on Dane County Ordinance
May 04, 2006
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today issued the following statement in response to Senator Glenn Grothman’s attack on a Dane County ordinance that prohibits county employees from inquiring about the immigration status of people seeking services from the county, unless the law requires asking.
“In 2004, the County Board adopted, and I signed, an ordinance, modeled on the New York ordinance created after 9/11, that prohibits county employees from asking the immigration status of the people they are serving, unless required to by law. The ordinance had wide support among county officials, including our Republican Sheriff and Democrat District Attorney, and passed on a voice-vote at the 37-member County Board. The County’s lobbyist appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary Corrections and Privacy on Monday, May 1, to represent county policy.
“Public health and public safety are two very important reasons for this wide support. For example, the Sheriff cannot solve or prevent some crimes if victims or witnesses fear and refuse to come forward and our public health nurses would be hindered in dealing with pandemic flu or other community health concerns if residents with questionable immigration status were afraid to cooperate with them.
“Our ordinance is designed to help us do our jobs and provide a high level of service to Dane County residents, many of whom, regardless of their own citizenship, have children who are American citizens.”
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