Madison – After the Wisconsin State Assembly passed an anti-immigrant bill known as “sanctuary cities”, a law giving non
-federal law enforcement agencies authority to enforce immigration laws, the Wisconsin Senate was next to approve the bill.
This week, the Wisconsin Senate did not act on the bill, opting instead to end its session without taking up the legislation for discussion and passage.
If the bill had passed the Senate, the bill would have gone to Governor Scott Walker to sign into law. As it stands, the bill just sits in the Senate waiting for action.
The bill passed the Assembly on party-line vote last month, with every Republican voting for it, while every Democrat voted against it.
The “sanctuary bill” was introduced by Rep. John Spiros, a Republican from Marshfield, Wisconsin. The law would ban a municipality or county from having a policy preventing officials from inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees or otherwise refusing to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.
Sanctuary cities emerged in the U.S. in the 1980s, but the debate surrounding them was reignited, particularly after a woman was shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco, a sanctuary city.
Rep. Lisa Subeck, Democrat from Madison, said the bill could strain relationships between law enforcement and undocumented immigrants who may fear contact with police.
Senate leaders did not say when or if the bill would come up for discussion and a vote in the future.