An alarming number of Wisconsin sheriff’s offices cooperating with ICE may be infringing Constitutional rights


We recently discussed the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office’s unfortunate decision to cooperate with ICE’s 247(g) policy, which trains officers to ascertain whether an individual in custody may be sought by ICE for deportation proceedings. We have now learned the ACLU of Wisconsin has reported that a majority of Wisconsin’s 72 counties may be engaging in unconstitutional practices in their efforts to comply with ICE requests regarding detaining individuals with potentially unlawful status.

The ACLU contacted all 72 county sheriffs and 63 responded. Only 6 were found to have policies in place that clarify that law enforcement “may not detain people based simply on a request from immigration authorities.” On the other hand, 24 counties have “flawed policies” while 29 have no policy in place at all. This is a recipe for disaster, as ICE continues to skirt the Constitution in its war on immigrants.

The ACLU’s goal is to make sure Wisconsin’s law enforcement agencies know what the law and the Constitution requires of them and what it doesn’t, so they do not break the law at ICE’s behest. The 4th Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. The ACLU is clear on the fact that detaining people solely on ICE’s say-so, without a signed warrant from an actual judge, because that individual is suspected of unlawful presence is a breach of the 4th Amendment. That is what makes the huge number of Wisconsin county sheriff’s with legally incorrect or no policy at all such a risk to law and liberty.

The ACLU of Wisconsin is concerned about serving the U.S. Constitution and protecting all people, citizens and non-citizens alike, from being unjustly profiled and illegally detained. They have provided a model policy to help Wisconsin’s sheriff’s offices comply with the Constitution

For more information on ACLU of Wisconsin’s report, please see their press release here: