I just sat down with Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff to talk about immigration policy. She told me she wants to introduce a resolution supporting "comprehensive immigration reform." In light of the recent shenanigans in Arizona, the gesture is even more relevant.
The problem is that the situation is not much better in Dane County than in Arizona. There is already a sheriff who insists on reporting illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which makes deportation a daily threat in the lives of thousands of undocumented workers. Moreover, there are the safety implications of such a policy: Illegal immigrants do not report crimes because they can't afford the risk of dealing with law enforcement.
Shiva emphasized that her resolution would include specific criticisms of the sheriff's department, which means that it might actually generate some controversy, even within the (generally speaking) liberal Common Council. However, Mahoney is not going to change his policy as long as the Democratic Party is complacent.
Unless Dane County Democratic leaders speak out against the policy, and talk seriously about disavowing an officeholder who pursues an inhumane and counter-productive policy, there can be no expectation that Mahoney will have a sudden change of heart.