By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
June 3, 2015
Milwaukee, WI - On Wednesday, Milwaukee County Judge David Borowoski ordered Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. to release un-redacted ICE detainer (I-247s) requests to Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) within 48-hours. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had requested the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) to only release redacted detainers to VDLF after it requested the information under Wisconsin Open Records Act. The sheriff's office had released ICE detainer requests from November 30, 2014 to March 31, 2015 after VDLF, an immigrant rights non-profit organization filed a lawsuit, but the detainers were redacted and did not disclose information about the undocumented immigrant's history of prior criminal record or deportation orders held at the Milwaukee County jail.
The I-247s ICE detainers are used to hold suspected undocumented immigrants an extra 48 hours to check for legal status. The MCSO has a partnership with ICE to hold ICE detainees under Secure Communities Program (SCP). Under SCP, many undocumented immigrants with minor violations have been detained and deported, despite Obama's policy to only deport serious offenders and those who are a threat to the U.S.
VDLF released the following statement after Judge Borowoski''s ruling, "This is a victory for the people of Wisconsin and immigrant families in particular," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. "For too long, Sheriff Clarke has shown a glaring disregard for the rights and dignity of immigrant families in our community. He will no longer be able to carry out what have been up to now secret deportations without community oversight and accountability. This information is part of our civil rights organizing to hold Sheriff Clarke accountable to the rights of immigrants, identify and reach out to individuals impacted by these laws to bring their story to light and fight their deportation, and go to court if necessary."