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Wisconsin Laws For Undocumented Immigrants

Wisconsin Immigration Laws: A Guide for Undocumented Residents

In Wisconsin, as elsewhere, immigration rules impact those without legal permission to live in the country. Wisconsin immigration laws are complex. They greatly affect undocumented immigrants and their communities. In this overview, we’ll talk about the laws in Wisconsin that apply to undocumented immigrants. We’ll look at things like what rights they have, what challenges they face, and what protections are in place to help them.

Understanding these laws is important because they affect things like access to public services, jobs, education, and how police interact with immigrants.

Short Summary

  • Undocumented immigrants are foreign-born individuals living in a country without legal permission.  Deporting everyone in the US is difficult due to resource limitations, legal complexities, and prioritization of deporting criminals.
  • Wisconsin Immigration Laws for Undocumented Immigrants cover Driver’s license/ID requirements. They are stringent, with limited alternatives for undocumented immigrants except for those with DACA status.
  • Most government help, like healthcare, is off-limits to undocumented immigrants, except for emergencies.
  • Education benefits can be tougher for undocumented students and DACA folks due to state laws.
  • Wisconsin imposes strict photo ID requirements for voting, with specific acceptable ID types listed for voting eligibility.
  • Wisconsin protects undocumented workers from job discrimination. The state can help if it happens.

Understanding Wisconsin’s immigration laws is key for undocumented immigrants facing legal issues or seeking resources.

How are Undocumented Immigrants Defined?

Undocumented immigrants can be defined as foreign-born individuals who lack the legal authorization to live in a specific country. This means they haven’t gone through the official channels to enter and stay in the country (like with a visa).

Why Hasn’t the U.S. Deported All Undocumented Immigrants?

Millions live in the US without legal documentation. You might wonder why deportation hasn’t removed everyone. Deporting all undocumented immigrants in the US is difficult for several reasons.

  • Limited Resources: Detaining and deporting everyone is expensive, with limited resources stretched thin.
  • Gray Areas: Some undocumented immigrants have claims to stay like asylum seekers fleeing persecution.

They have rights to present their case and apply for asylum.

  • Prosecutorial Discretion: Focus is on deporting criminals, leaving others like students less targeted.

Some might even get temporary protection or work authorization.

  • Legal Protections: Temporary Protected Status or other legal avenues may allow some to stay.

What are the Wisconsin Immigration Laws for Undocumented Immigrants?

With a significant undocumented immigrant population in Wisconsin, knowing the state’s immigration laws is essential. Here’s a breakdown of key areas:

Driver’s License/ID Requirements

In Wisconsin, getting a driver’s license or state ID as an undocumented immigrant is difficult. A law called Assembly Bill 69 requires anyone applying for these documents to show proof of U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status. There aren’t official alternatives, but some undocumented immigrants might use IDs issued by their consulate or, if Mexican, a matricula consular. But, it’s important to remember these consulate IDs have limited uses.  There is an exception, though. Immigrants with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status may be eligible to get a driver’s license or state ID.

Public Benefits and Services

Wisconsin’s health insurance program, BadgerCare Plus, has limited accessibility for undocumented immigrants. While they can’t generally get full coverage themselves, there are some exceptions. Even if you’re not a citizen, you can still get help in Wisconsin. Pregnant women might qualify for BadgerCare Plus Prenatal coverage for their pregnancy. Everyone can get emergency medical care through BadgerCare Plus. There might also be other resources available depending on your situation, so check with a local social service agency.

Public Benefits Restrictions

Undocumented students in Wisconsin may find alternative ways to pay for college besides state financial aid. These include:

  • Nutrition for Families: Pregnant women, mothers, and young children might qualify for the WIC program, which provides healthy food options.
  • Emergency Medical Care: Everyone, regardless of immigration status, can get emergency medical services through Medicaid.
  • Emergency Assistance: Some programs offer shelter, temporary housing, basic healthcare, and even help with safety concerns in emergencies.
  • Childcare Support: In some cases, childcare funded by TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or the Child Care Development Fund might be available.

Education Benefits

Wisconsin law AB 40 hikes college costs for undocumented students and DACA recipients by denying them in-state tuition. There are exceptions for some refugees who meet certain criteria and scholarship opportunities like TheDream.US to help ease the financial burden.

Voting ID Rules

The state adheres to a stringent photo identification (ID) mandate for voting purposes. It provides an exhaustive list of acceptable ID types for voting, which include:

  • Driver’s licenses issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Military identification cards
  • U.S. passports
  • Photo ID cards issued by accredited universities or colleges within Wisconsin

It’s important to note that only individuals who are U.S. citizens and are at least 18 years old are eligible to vote.

Employment Rights

Wisconsin protects undocumented workers from job discrimination. Employers can’t use immigration status in hiring, firing, or treatment. If you suspect this, file a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

What Federal Laws Cover Discrimination Against Undocumented Workers?

Most Wisconsin jobs protect workers from immigration discrimination. This includes protection against:

  • Unequal treatment based on race, color, gender, religion, or national origin (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act).
  • Being paid less than someone of the opposite sex for the same work (Equal Pay Act).
  • Age discrimination if you’re 40 or older (Age Discrimination in Employment Act).
  • Disability discrimination (Americans with Disabilities Act).

The Immigration and Nationality Act limits what employers can do with undocumented workers:

  • Discriminating based on citizenship status when hiring, firing, or recruiting.
  • Discriminating based on national origin.
  • Using unfair document practices during employment verification.
  • Retaliating against workers who report discrimination.

Call Our Milwaukee Immigration Attorney Now!

The laws for undocumented immigrants in Wisconsin can be confusing and keep changing. This blog covers Wisconsin immigration basics. Talk to a lawyer for specific advice.

Need legal advice? Miller & Miller Immigration Attorneys can help you navigate your specific situation. Our experienced team understands the challenges faced by immigrants and is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.

We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your immigration case and answer any questions you may have. We can help you with Adjustment of Status, Deportation fears, and Getting a Green Card among others. Contact Miller & Miller Immigration Attorneys today. We look forward to assisting you!

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