Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Lawsuit Claims Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office ICE Detainer Records Redacted

Two immigrant rights group want detainer ICE records without censorship of information from Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

May 6, 2015

Milwaukee, WI - On Wednesday, Attorney Peter Earle representing Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) and Sanctuary Movement argued in a Milwaukee County Court that the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) has redacted information it had requested concerning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement  (ICE) detainers known as I-247s. The groups claimed that they were forced to file a lawsuit on April 1 after Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke had stalled in releasing the detainer forms under the Wisconsin Open Records Act request and had paid $300 for the forms. 
The I-247s ICE detainers are used to hold suspected undocumented immigrants an extra 48 hours to check for legal status. The MCSO has a partnership with ICE to hold ICE detainees under Secure Communities Program (SCP). Under SCP, many undocumented immigrants with minor violations have been detained and deported, despite Obama's policy to only deport serious offenders and those who are a threat to the U.S.
When the MCSO released the information after the groups filed a lawsuit, VDLF and the court on April 2 noticed that certain information was redacted or blocked from the detainers. 
VDLF now wants for the MCSO to pay for court costs and release the detainers dating from November 20, 2014 to March 31, 2015 unredacted. Milwaukee County Corporate Counsel Paul Bargren who is representing MCSO argued that the in formation that was blocked, if unredacted would lead to identity fraud. But Attorney Earle argued the "A number" and immigration history, including an ICE hold order for the detainee can already be found on the MCSO website of arrests. People when checking who is detained at the Milwaukee County jail can see who is on ICE hold, according to Earle.
MCSO Captain Catherine Trimboli who testified in court told Circuit Court Judge David Borowski that she redacted the detainers in question after ICE requested for the information to be blocked. But, she couldn't explain what the information was used for by ICE.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the Executive Director for VDLF testified and said that the information was needed to see, if the MCSO was complying with the current immigration policies. 
Judge Borowski is expected to render a decision by June 3, whether the MCSO should released the detainers unredacted and pay for court costs.

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