Protesters call for ICE to end county courthouse arrests

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by Shakara Robinson
by Carlos Vergara

MILWAUKEE -- 95 people gathered outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Milwaukee Monday afternoon, calling for federal immigration officials to stay out of county courthouses.

Voces de la Frontera says ICE agents are interrogating and detaining undocumented immigrants who go to county courthouses for routine business in order to meet detention and deportation quotas. 

Organizers believe ICE agents are working with local law enforcement to find out when Latino or Spanish-speaking people will come to the courthouse.

Last week, 22 Wisconsin state representatives signed a letter addressed to ICE calling for an investigation into accusations of racial profiling and intimidating practices by ICE agents at courthouses statewide, including Milwaukee, Racine, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Kenosha counties.

“Members of our community should be able to enter our courthouses without being racially profiled,” Rep. Cory Mason said in a statement. “These practices described by constituents are deeply disturbing and must be halted immediately.”

Voces de la Frontera, a Wisconsin-based immigrant rights group, said in a statement that its office is also committed to the issue. 

“Courts should be a safe place for people complying with or seeking protection from the legal system,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera. “Voces is committed to informing the affected community about their rights and to challenge this abuse.”

 

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