The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin wants to know if sheriffs departments are working to enforce federal immigration laws. The group has filed open records requests, in an effort to discover the extent to which all 72 sheriff’s departments in Wisconsin are working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We don’t have a good picture of what’s going on in all the counties in Wisconsin, and so we’re trying to gather that information,” the ACLU‘s Timothy Muth said. He said local law enforcement should not be asking people about their immigration status, and should not be holding anyone for federal authorities without a judicial order.
While Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s cooperation with ICE has gotten a lot of attention, Muth said there’s immigrant activity all over the state. “There are plenty of things for our local law enforcement to be doing, in order to maintain public safety in our state, without also getting involved in immigration enforcement,” he said.
In Dane County, a spokesperson for Sheriff Dave Mahoney said they will not hold anyone for ICE without a judicial order, and deputies do not ask for citizenship unless someone is being booked into the jail. “That’s pretty much along the lines of what we are recommending,” Muth said.
Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove, who serves as President of the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association, said she would leave comments on the ACLU request up to individual sheriffs. ACLU’s Muth said they will follow-up, with any departments they don’t receive a response from.