The URL above links to the FindLaw website. I looked for Wisconsin legislation that relates to immigration status of an individual.
Law Enforcement and Immigration in Wisconsin
There is a federal program called "Secure Communities" which focuses on protecting communities. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) limits resources to those who have been arrested breaking criminal laws. Secure Communities is a way to carry out ICE's practices.
In Wisconsin, anyone who is arrested will be fingerprinted and their identity will be run through a federal database to check for a criminal record and immigration status.
Employment & Immigration
Wisconsin participates in the Employment Eligibility Verification process. Employers must complete the I-9 forms within three days after hiring an employee. The employee is required to fill out a form, releasing basic information such as:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
E-Verify is "an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, data from the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility". Wisconsin has no E-Verify requirement.
Wisconsin residents must present documentation proving identity, date of birth and U.S. citizenship or legal residence .
Public Benefits Restrictions
The federal law states that illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving most public benefits. But, in Wisconsin illegal immigrants are allowed to receive emergency services, health care and other programs that are deemed "necessary to protect life and safety."
Wisconsin does not seek information to reveal immigration status of children applying for enrollment in public schools.
Wisconsin does have a strict rule for voting. A voter must present one of the following:
- Wisconsin Driver's License/ State ID
- Military ID
- U.S. Passport
- Green Card
- Tribal ID
- Student ID
Housing Ordinances and Immigration
No Wisconsin participation
After comparing some states with respect to the level of "strictness" immigration laws can be, I continue to be in the middle. I can understand the need for E-Verify, yet at the same time, find it to be extremely in depth to prove that someone is not an illegal immigrant. The questions I gathered from the E-Verify section are:
What have been the consequences in WI of not participating in E-Verify?
After writing the article about the tomato farmers, and knowing there are illegal workers in Wisconsin, what would happen to the Wisconsin State Economy if E-Verify were to be used in WI? How would this effect unemployment?
I agree with the ID requirements, I feel that you should have some sort of identification. This area to me would help the legal employment rate; if you need to present some sort of legal documentation get an ID, then the employer could simply ask for your ID.
I also am happy that WI doesn't seek information of children during their application process for enrollment into public schools. (More information: Next Blog). Leaving the immigration status of the parents out, I feel the consequences of not educating ALL children would be very high! This is the first step in the immigration transition of helping the children of the future become citizens. It breaks the cycle. If the children of immigrants have the same amount of work ethic their parents do, the opportunities and possibilities for these children are endless! They can help towards a better future and maybe towards helping their home communities.