Politics & Government
1:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Bipartisan Group of State Lawmakers Calls for Immigration Overhaul

Nearly 50 Wisconsin legislators are urging Congress to reform the country’s immigration laws.

Immigration activists demonstrate in front of detention center In New York.
Immigration activists demonstrate in front of detention center In New York.
Credit John Moore/Getty Images

The state group includes both Democrats and Republicans.

Immigration can be a hot topic – and one you might not expect bipartisan agreement on, in Wisconsin’s divided Legislature. Yet seven Republicans joined 39 Democrats in signing a letter to the state’s congressional delegation. The note urges them to pass “tough, fair, comprehensive immigration reform.”

Milwaukee Democratic Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa says she penned the letter, along with Greendale Republican Rep. Jeff Stone.

“The safety and security of the U.S. is of the utmost priority. It was very important for my Republican colleagues to see that highlighted in the letter, so we want to make sure that border security and enforcement is there. But of course, absolutely, I want to see a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants here in the U.S. that are living in the shadows,” Zamarripa says.

Zamarripa says the U.S. Senate could vote this week on a bill, so it was important to let Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin know how Wisconsin lawmakers feel.

Zamarripa and Stone are planning to hold a news conference Wednesday. They’ll talk about the letter’s contents, including its focus on immigrants as a vital component of the state’s agricultural industry.