Monday, June 4, 2012

Abele Approved Policy For Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office To Limit ICE Detainer Request To Hold Illegals

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office facing limit undocumented inmate detainer hold requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 4, 2012

Milwaukee - On Monday, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele signed a resolution to limit the Miwaukee County Sheriff's Department cooperation for holding illegals upon detainer hold requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to Primitivo Torres, from Voces de la Frontera. Torres confirmed that Abele signed the resolution that was approved by the Milwaukee County Board on a vote of 14-4 in late May. The County Board had approved an ICE Detainer Limit Resolution 12-135 to limit the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) from honoring requests by ICE to hold non-criminal aliens or undocumented suspects for longer periods when processed by the sheriff's department. Non-criminal illegal suspects or inmates being held by MCSO would be exempt from being held more than 48 hours when they are targeted for legal status confirmation and removal by ICE, if illegally in the country. The resolution was sponsored by Supervisors Peggy Romo West, Russell Stamper II, Nikiya Harris, David F. Bowen and County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.
The supervisors had argued that, ICE detainer requests are not mandatory under federal law and ICE doesn't refund the high costs to Milwaukee County when excessively holding illegals. Between 2010 to 2011, the MCSO held 439 suspects under ICE detainer requests, including 193 inmates who were in the country illegally.
Abele was reluctant to approve the ICE detainer limit resolution and was expected to veto it because he believed that it was a federal immigration issue and not a county issue, according to county sources. But members from Voces de la Frontera and other supporters of the resolution were able to successfully lobby for the passage of the policy. Abele was finally convinced to approve the resolution, according to Torres.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. had said, the resolution passed by the County Board in May was politically motivated, but he also agreed that it's a federal immigration issue. Now, Clarke Jr. is facing enforcement of the resolution, since Abele approved it on Monday. Will Sheriff Clarke Jr. comply with the ICE detainer limit hold policy? It remains to be seen.
Under the policy, if honored by Sheriff Clarke Jr., only certain illegal inmates and suspects would be held on ICE detainers.
Any suspect would be detained under ICE request, if the suspect has been convicted of at least one felony or two misdemeanor offenses; convicted or charged of any domestic violence offense or any violation of a protective order; convicted or charged with intoxicated use of a vehicle; suspect is a defendant in a pending criminal case, has an outstanding criminal warrant, is identified as a gang member and/or a possible match on the U.S. terrorist watch list.
In 2010, Sheriff Clarke Jr. admitted that ICE has accessibility to information gathered from people they have arrested. The booking information accessible to ICE is the suspect's name, date of birth, place of birth, Social Security number and race, which the sheriff's department compiles from everyone that has been arrested or detained in Milwaukee County.
Clarke Jr. says, the department works with other law enforcement agencies by sharing information and did not dispute allegations ICE has access to information of persons processed by the department. He did confirm that the county jail has been in an agreement for the last five years with the feds to hold illegal immigrants under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program and the county was reinburse about $135,000 in 2009. In 2008, the county received at least $60,000 under the program, according to Sheriff Clarke Jr.
Under the above agreement, the MCSO has to check the legal status of everyone they suspect is an illegal alien and report their results to ICE.

Copy of Milwaukee County Board ICE Detainer Limit Policy at link:

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