The Dane County Board of Supervisors took a stand against two of President Donald Trump’s controversial executive orders Thursday, as he plans to implement more similar orders soon.
The board passed two resolutions at the meeting opposing Trump’s executive order prioritizing the deportation of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and another that imposed travel bans on Muslim immigrants and refugees.
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Community member and former board member Kathleen Nichols spoke to the board in favor of the resolution regarding undocumented immigrants and discussed how she is the child of an undocumented immigrant. She said her mother came from Ireland and was forced to marry her father so she could stay in the U.S.
When her mother was pregnant with her, her father planned to enroll in the military. One day, he received a letter which said he had to turn in his wife or he would be arrested for “harboring an illegal alien.”
“Of course, it all became funny years later when it was all unthreaded,” Nichols said. “But it wasn’t funny at the time, and it isn’t funny for families in the same circumstance now.”
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Sup. Carousel Bayrd, District 8, said many people currently living in the U.S. are or are related to immigrants and she is proud of her Hispanic heritage. But she refrains from talking about it because she has a large amount of privilege, she said.
According to the resolution, around 85,000 undocumented individuals reside in Wisconsin, with about 55,000 of them employed within the state.
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Sup. John Hendrick, District 6, said they were subject to religious discrimination and believes that Muslims today should not be subject to the same treatment.
“I think we all should think about our heritage and our backgrounds and the fact that we’re a country of immigrants — and that we do not practice discrimination,” Hendrick said.
The resolution regarding the Muslim travel ban pointed to a clause in the Larson v. Valente Supreme Court case which many have used to argue unconstitutionality in the portion of Trump’s ban that gives preference to religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries.
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The board joins thousands of groups around the world in demanding Trump’s executive order be rescinded immediately, according to the resolution.
Sup. Nick Zweifel, District 3, said it’s the board’s duty to show where Dane County stands on issues like these.
“People from all over the world come to Dane County,” Zweifel said. “I can’t think of anything more that’s Dane County business than this.”