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Milwaukee committee delays plan to make workers who need city licenses show proof of citizenship

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A committee in Milwaukee has delayed a plan to make workers who need city licenses show proof of citizenship or U.S. legal status.

The Common Council's Licensing Committee was scheduled to act on the mandate Tuesday, and the public safety panel was going to vote on it Wednesday.


But both committees held off, after Alderman Tony Zielinski said community groups needed more time to consider the ordinance and comment on it.

City Clerk Ron Leonhardt proposed the legal status requirement for licensed workers, after the city attorney said it was needed to comply with a federal law. The clerk said the affected groups were told about the measure almost three weeks ago.

But immigrant rights' group leader Christine Neumann-Ortiz said she didn't know about it until Monday night.

She said the legal status mandate would increase poverty, and reduce Milwaukee's tax base.

Darryl Morin, state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said he was checking with the White House and the U.S. Justice Department about the federal requirement. Milwaukee would be the first city in Wisconsin to pass it.