The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office could become the first law enforcement entity to partnership with ICE under the 287g Program, which allows deputies to enforcement federal immigration laws.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
March 9, 2017
Milwaukee, WI – On Wednesday, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) announced in their Facebook page that Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. signed a letter of intent to partnership with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the 287g Program, which allows deputies to enforce federal immigration laws throughout the County. Governor Scott Walker (R) would have to approve such county and federal partnership to enforce immigration laws within the state of Wisconsin. Walker hasn’t publicly endorse such a partnership, but supports Trump’s efforts to enforce immigration laws. Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) has reached out to Governor Walker for comment about Sheriff Clarke’s intent to join 287g, but he has not returned a response. If Sheriff Clarke gets approved by Governor Walker, other law enforcement agencies throughout the state could follow.
So far, the Milwaukee Police Department, the City of Racine, the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office and a few others have confirmed that they will implement 287g as President Trump would like them to do so in a volunteer basis.
Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant and workers rights organization sponsored on February 13 a mass protest, march and rally against Sheriff Clarke’s intent to join the 287g program. Sheriff Clarke had previously confirmed that the “Day without Latinos, Immigrants and Refugees” march would not effect his decision to partnership with ICE. If approved by Governor Walker to implement 287g, the MCSO will become the first law enforcement agency to implement 287g in the state.
The MCSO conducts no investigations on homicides, auto thefts and felony crimes other than patrolling county roads and highways to clear roads of accidents and citing speeders. The MCSO also has deputies assigned as bailiffs at the Milwaukee County Courthouse and jail. The FBI statistics indicated that the MCSO deputies only investigated five rape cases between 2012 to 2014.
Implementing the 287g program in any jurisdiction has its drawbacks and anticipated federal lawsuits by immigrant rights groups and the ACLU who have filed lawsuits and proved that such practices under 287g are contributed to illegal profiling, civil rights violation and discrimination by local authorities enforcing immigration laws.
In most cases, law enforcement agencies who use the 287g program usually profile, discriminate and violate the civil rights of those targeted under the program.
Example: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona under Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in which a federal court found blatant illegal profiling, discrimination and civil rights violations when arresting victims. Arpaio was held in contempt for violations by a federal judge, could also face prison time and Arpaio was ousted from office on November 9, 2016. The new elected Sheriff Paul Penzone in Maricopa County immediately terminated the 287g ICE partnership.
Sheriff Clarke could also face the same consequences for joining the 287g program, if irregularities by the sheriff and deputies occur when suspected undocumented aliens are stopped, processed in the jail or U.S. Citizens of Spanish speaking origin are also illegally detained, but Clarke will now certainly be on the national watch list by immigrant rights organizations and the ACLU as well.
Currently, Wisconsin Republican state legislators John Spiros, Jesse Kremer and Steve Nass seek sponsorship to reintroduce a anti-sanctuary city bill formerly known as Assembly Bill 450. The renewed legislation, if approved by both chambers of the Republican controlled legislature would withhold funding from cities that ignore federal immigration laws and harbor illegal immigrants.
Representative Spiros’s proposal would cut state aid from any community with a policy of preventing officials from inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees or those refusing to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Such communities could lose between $500 and $5,000 of state aid, depending upon its population, for each day of noncompliance.
Last year, AB 450 passed the State Assembly on a vote of 63-35, but the State Senate adjourned without taking any action and the bill eventually expired.
The proposed revived WI sanctuary legislation LRB-1205/1 – Prohibiting Sanctuary Cities in Wisconsin (Memorandum dateline to co-sponsor bill is March 15, 2017) would only target undocumented aliens who pose a legitimate public safety risk and allows for political entities (statewide Sheriff County jails) to accept ICE detainers (useless administrative ICE requests to detain), even if not legally binding (only a court warrant is valid to detain), according to a federal court ruling.