Wisconsin Legislators Push for Law Change to Allow DACA Illegal Aliens to Become Police Officers

Two Republican legislators, Representatives Dave Steffen (Green Bay) and John Macco (Ledgeview) are seeking to change a Wisconsin law to allow illegal aliens that have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to become police officers. Under current state law, illegal aliens are ineligible to become police officers. 

Currently in Wisconsin, deputy sheriffs or municipal officers are required to be U.S. citizens.  To carry out their duties, the officers must take an oath of office which requires them to enforce the law and protect the constitutional rights of all in their community. DACA illegal aliens cannot in good faith take this oath of office because they continuously reside in the United States in violation of the law. Granting DACA to illegal aliens does not change their status whatsoever:  It simply defers their removal and grants them work documents.

Besides, it would be inappropriate for DACA illegal aliens to take an oath of office which requires them to enforce the law.  How can individuals whose mere presence in this country violates federal law take an oath to uphold it in good faith?

The public must be confident that the officers who are sworn to protect them and uphold the law are upstanding citizens in the community. If the public knows that their police department hires DACA illegal aliens, it may give them less faith that the laws would be fairly enforced.

Furthermore, hiring DACA illegal aliens as police officers charged to serve and protect the community sends the wrong message to legal immigrants.  Legal immigrants spend thousands of dollars and wait many years to come to the United States.  Hiring DACA illegal aliens tells legal immigrants that we do not care if our laws are violated.  It says that cheating the system and not abiding by the law will be rewarded.

Representatives Steffen and Macco justify their intent to change the law so that DACA illegal aliens can be hired as law enforcement officers claiming it will bring diversity to the police force. However, there are many laws on the books that already encourage diverse hiring practices.  A feel good measure that undermines the public trust does nothing to encourage legal immigrants who have become naturalized citizens to join the force.  With more than one million legal immigrants entering the U.S. on any given year, there are better ways to bring diversity to law enforcement.

About Author


Shari Rendall brings to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) over 15 years of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy. In her former position, Shari led the legislation department in coordinating lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and briefing congressional and administration staff on a wide range of issues. She has also been responsible for grassroots communications and helping state associations devise their legislative strategies. She began her time in D.C. working on Capitol Hill in the office of former Sen. Bob Smith (R-New Hampshire) as a Legislative Aide.

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