MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Federal authorities have arrested nearly three dozen people in Wisconsin as part of a multi-state sweep targeting immigrants living illegally in the U.S. previously convicted of crimes and other immigration violators.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a news release Friday saying the operation began May 9 and wrapped up Monday. It covered Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri.
Authorities arrested 331 people across the six states, including 39 in Wisconsin. Thirty-seven are from Mexico, one is from Cuba and one is from El Salvador.
A dozen were arrested in Green Bay, five in Milwaukee and five in Sturgeon Bay. Arrests took place in 15 other cities, including Beloit, Janesville, Madison, Sheboygan and Waunakee.
In reaction to the news, community organization Voces de la Frontera issued a statement condemning the arrests:
“ICE claims their raids make communities safer, but in fact ICE makes us all less safe by traumatizing families, robbing children of their parents and making immigrant community members afraid to cooperate with law enforcement to report crimes,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera.