Thursday, May 1, 2014

Immigrant May Day March Calls For ICE To Stop Illegal Arrests At The Milwaukee County Courthouse

Immigrant rights organization wants ICE to stop arresting undocumented immigrants when they appear in court for non-criminal hearings and other business.

By H. Nelson Goodson
May 1, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Thursday,  an estimated 2,500 people marched in support of limiting arrests by the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) of undocumented immigrants during and after Milwaukee County Court appearances and other business. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that 1,000 had marched.
ICE has illegally been detaining undocumented immigrants at the courthouse without any order of a judge to do so. Numerous cases have shown that people leaving a court appearance whether attending a court hearing for a non-criminal act or charge have been detained by ICE and placed on deportation proceedings.
Most of the cases, a judge has not placed a victim on immigration hold, but ICE violates the victim's rights by arresting them without due cause or a warrant. 
News of ICE arresting people at the court house in various counties around the state or places where traffic fines are paid has kept people from their obligation to pay those fines or attend ordered family court hearings and do avoid filing domestic restraining orders. Other immigrants have refused to report crimes in their neighborhood or crimes perpetrated on them to avoid becoming witnesses and having to reporting to a court hearing of fear of being detained and deported.
The Milwaukee ICE agency has become a rogue unit that fails to recognize the constitutional rights of those individual that are taken into custody while paying traffic fines, getting marriage licenses or doing other business in state county courthouses. ICE agents working in Wisconsin don't usually follow federal law, they do violate constitutional rights and the U.S. Department of Justice lacks any accountability to prosecute those corrupt ICE agents involved.
The May Day march was sponsored by Voces de la Frontera (VDLF). VDLF also called for Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. to deny ICE detainer requests. In 2012, a majority of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution for Sheriff Clarke to deny ICE detainer request for those individuals booked for minor incidents. The resolution was just an advisory measure, according to Supervisor Peggy Romo West from the 12th District.
Sheriff Clarke has a contract agreement with ICE under Secure Communities to hold undocumented immigrants under ICE custody. But ICE's contract agreement forces Sheriff Clarke to mandate personal to check suspected individuals believed to be in country illegally who are booked at the Milwaukee County jail to be checked for legal immigration status.
A federal judge has ruled that police or sheriff department's don't have to abide by those ICE detainers, which are deemed useless, since those booked should be allowed to be released when their time comes up to be released. The ICE detainers violates that right and victims are held longer than required by law.

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