A Guest Column from
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
We Stand With Our Neighbors
We have created a special position and allocated seed money that we are leveraging to
draw in additional outside funding in order to provide you with resources to help you
navigate the legal system. Dane County is one community made up of many. While we
are diverse, we are also one. When you pick on one of us, you pick on all of us—and we
don’t like bullies.
Unfortunately, there are too many bullies masquerading as political messiahs today. But,
we’re not buying what they’re selling. We know the message of true moral leadership
echoes the central tenet of every great religion—to love your neighbor. True moral
leadership comes not just from words but from actions. This is Dane County, and we
still hold to the truth that all people are created equal. This includes the Dreamers and
their families who came here for the same reasons my grandparents did.
And let us not forget, we need immigration in order to thrive as a nation. We have a
severe worker shortage in the United States. We have tens of thousands of job
openings we cannot fill right here in Dane County. Contractors are turning down work
because they can’t find enough employees. The Social Security system is going broke
because not enough workers are paying into it.
Immigrants are not the problem; they are a vital part of the solution. There is no moral or
logical reason not to welcome our immigrant neighbors. So we’re going to fight for
them, we’re going to stand by them, and we’re going to help them in their quest to
realize the American Dream.
Earlier this year, I proposed the creation of a new county position, an immigration specialist, along with seed money for a legal
assistance fund, in order to assist our immigrant community in the face of increasing hostility from the federal government. I am grateful
to the County Board for approving this request and for further increasing funding for the legal fund.
These actions demonstrated a unity of purpose between myself and the Board of Supervisors and were also a statement of support from
our greater community to our immigrant neighbors. We are sending a clear message that we care about our immigrant community. We
stand with them not only in word but also in deed, especially as they endure unprecedented hostility from federal officials.
To our local immigrant community, I want to be clear: your local leaders do not agree with recent actions taken by our federal
government, such as the elimination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or stepped up efforts aimed at mass deportation. In
Dane County we welcome you, we respect you, we stand with you, and we are here to assist you during these challenging times.