- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) - The Sheboygan Common Council has defeated a contentious resolution that would have authorized police to detain people with whom they come in contact if the individuals couldn’t provide proof of U.S. citizenship.

The council voted 14-to-1 to reject the proposal, USA Today Network-Wisconsin (https://shebpr.es/2n3x7nG ) reported. Council member Rosemarie Trester was absent.

“I think the best decision was made this evening,” Mayor Mike Vandersteen said after the vote.

The resolution’s author, Job Hou-seye, said the effort was aimed at making sure Sheboygan wouldn’t become a sanctuary city and provide protection to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

“It is largely more a statement of intent,” Hou-seye said. “A statement of intent that Sheboygan wants to follow the lead of the president and of (the U.S. Department of) Homeland Security in enforcing immigration laws that are already on the books.”

Several hundred people rallied in opposition to the measure outside City Hall on Monday night, before the council meeting.

Jose Araujo was one of several citizens who spoke against the resolution, saying it was unnecessary and irresponsible. He said it could expose police officers to allegations of racial profiling.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals living in Sheboygan that contribute to our economy every day that are in this country legally but are not U.S. citizens,” Araujo said.

Some aldermen also disagreed with the resolution, including Ald. Scott Lewandoske and Ald. John Belanger, who is running for mayor this spring.

“It’s not something that we should be doing,” Belanger said. “We shouldn’t be threatening our citizens with rounding them up and deporting them or turning them over to (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or the sheriff or whatever.”

Common Council President Mary Lynne Donohue said she was upset that the resolution brought the council into partisan politics.


Information from: Sheboygan Press Media, https://www.sheboygan-press.com

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