Wisconsin Group to March Against Immigration Program

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A Milwaukee immigration rights group is holding a march to oppose a county sheriff’s partnership with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

Voces de la Frontera is holding a “Day Without Latinos” rally Tuesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported . The group is asking Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson to stop his department’s partnership with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.

The county will participate in what’s known as the 287(g) jail model program, which allows deputized officers to give immigration detainers for inmates potentially subject to removal. The department won’t go out into the community, but will instead work with ICE to honor detainers for people already in custody, Severson said.

“My community, my constituents, want me to work with ICE to make sure if there are people in my county that are here illegally and that are committing crimes, that we don’t release them back in the community,” Severson said.

Two corrections employees will attend ICE training in June. There is no set date for program implementation, Severson said.

Some are concerned that small incidents could lead to deportations through the program, said Anselmo Villarreal, the president of La Casa de Esperanza, a nonprofit that focuses on helping the area’s Hispanic community.

“Sheriff Severson has assured me they are focusing on more violent crimes, more serious crimes,” Villarreal said. “My fear is that it can lead to some misunderstandings, some innocent people, or just people here in this country without documents can be deported.”

Severson said he applied to join the program because of his “commitment to not violate people’s rights.”

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