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Milwaukee County Sheriff cuts communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 19:50:05-05

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas just took office a little more than one month ago, and he’s already making a big move to regain trust in the immigrant community.

“We don’t want to place a chilling effect on any one community of not wanting to communicate with law enforcement,” Lucas said.

From now on, unless they receive a judicial warrant, the sheriff’s office won’t talk with Immigration and Customs Enforcement about detainees in their jail.

“There won’t be any communication with ICE,” Lucas said.

It furthers a policy enacted by his predecessor last fall to not detain anyone without a judicial warrant.

However, ICE doesn’t agree this is the right choice, saying in a statement:

“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.”

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s administration had a strong relationship with ICE.

Mario Ramirez of Voces De La Frontera says local immigrants were always fearful if they got something as small as a traffic ticket.

“Maybe they’re going to deport me or separate me from my family,” Ramirez said.

But he says they fought for change and are thrilled it’s now happening.

“Our community feels happy, safe,” Ramirez said.

Click on the links below to see the difference between Lucas' policy and policies of the past.

Sheriff Earnell Lucas' Policy

Sheriff Richard Schmidt's Policy

Sheriff David Clarke's Policy