MILWAUKEE – The ACLU of Wisconsin today denounced Sheboygan Sheriff Cory Roeseler’s decision to enter into a Warrant Service Officer (WSO) agreement with the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The policy is meant to aid the Trump deportation machine and is akin to the harmful 287(g) agreement—entered into by only a handful of other Wisconsin counties, such as Waukesha—which deputizes local law enforcement officials to carry out federal immigration law.
“Especially as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, expending scarce, valuable local resources on immigration enforcement doesn’t make any sense,” said ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ott. “Sheriffs in many Wisconsin counties now are working to release people from their jails in order to reduce overcrowding and mitigate the COVID-19 threat to their communities. Now is not the time to double down on policies that will increase the jail population and spread fear in immigrant communities.”
“This agreement will only heighten the sense of fear and insecurity that is unfortunately already felt by many immigrants living in Wisconsin -- and it won’t make the public any safer,” Ott added. “ICE has induced a number of local sheriffs across the country to enter these agreements, and it has proven to do nothing except harm and destabilize our communities. These agreements make immigrant communities less likely to communicate and cooperate with local authorities, and could discourage people from seeking needed medical help. Putting scarce local resources in service of this misguided mission is never a good idea, and it certainly isn’t now."