The ACLU of Wisconsin conducted a study to determine how the sheriff’s departments in Wisconsin counties were participating in Donald Trump’s war on immigrants.  Among other things, we wanted to know whether counties will hold someone in jail on immigration charges for ICE and whether the department reports immigrants whom they arrest on state charges to ICE.
63 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties responded.
Here is what we found:
  • Only six counties were fully compliant with 4th amendment requirements that a judicial officer must sign a warrant before the country can hold someone on immigration charges alone.
  • Most counties simply have no policy at all.
  • Five counties actually encourage violation of the 4th amendment by honoring any request from ICE to detain an immigrant.
  • Most counties also lack a policy regarding questioning persons arrested about their immigration status.
  • Of the counties which have policies in place, most use flawed policies they purchased from a private company called LexiPol.
  • Five counties and the Wisconsin State Department of Justice have policies requiring sheriffs’ deputies to report to ICE any foreign-born person they book in the jail.
  • The Sheriff’s Department in the state’s largest county, Milwaukee, has no policies regarding honoring ICE detainers or questioning immigrants about their status.
  • Two counties operate detention centers for ICE
  • Waukesha County has signed an agreement to make some of its deputies ICE agents
Every sheriff's department should put in place a policy stating:
  1. No person should be questioned about his or her immigration status unless directly relevant to an investigation of a state or local charge.
  2. No stop should be conducted or prolonged for purposes of contacting federal immigration authorities.
  3. The Sheriff's Department will not honor detainer requests issued by ICE unless the detainer is accompanied by a warrant signed by a judge or magistrate (and not just signed by an ICE officer).​
  4. Every person, regardless of country of origin, is entitled to equal respect by personnel of the department.