FPC approves changes to Milwaukee Police Department's immigration enforcement policy

NOW: FPC approves changes to Milwaukee Police Department’s immigration enforcement policy


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission approved a requirement for a signed federal warrant signed by a judge in order for officials to assist in immigration enforcements. 

The requirement was added to revisions of the Milwaukee Police Department's Standard Operating Procedure 130. 

The change comes after Milwaukee police officers helped immigration officials arrest undocumented immigrant Jose De La Cruz in September. 

Local leaders say the change will help keep more families together. 

"It's a beautiful thing that here in Milwaukee we've done," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera. 

Voce de la Frontera's Christine Neumann-Ortiz, said the decision sends a strong message for the community. 

"Here in Milwaukee, I think it really sends a strong message nationally that Milwaukee is a welcoming community, and it upholds the dignity and contributions of immigrants and refugees,' Neumann-Ortiz said. 

Milwaukee police now need a signed judicial warrant to help them make arrests. 

"We were able to come together and come to a place of collaboration, a place where people feel like they can be open and transparent about what their needs and wants are and the community felt heard at the end of the day," said Executive Director of Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission, Griselda Aldrete. 

Under the new agreement, MPD officers are only required to assist if a person is suspected of terrorism, convicted of a violent felony, or is arrested for a sexual offense involving a victim who is a minor. 

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the extra step helps build trust with police. 

"That means that they have to mean that they feel that when they contact the police, that neither they nor a family member is going to be deported. That's a real concern for some people in our city," Mayor Barrett said. 

Voces de la Frontera also said this will help keep and make our communities safer, with victims and witnesses feeling more comfortable reporting crimes without the threat of deportation. 

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