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Thursday, April 18, 2024
U.S. Representative Mark Pocan met with ICE officials yesterday for information about the weekend's raids, but he said he left with few answers.

U.S. Representative Mark Pocan met with ICE officials yesterday for information about the weekend's raids, but he said he left with few answers.

Local officials confirm 11 ICE arrests in Madison

The number of arrests made by federal immigration authorities in Dane County rose to at least 11 over the weekend, local officials confirmed Monday.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin announced Friday that he was aware of at least six arrests by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers, who he says operated without the knowledge of city officials.

Dane County Immigration Affairs Specialist Fabiola Hamdan confirmed the number increased over the weekend in a press conference Monday. At least 18 additional people have been arrested across Wisconsin.

“It may seem like a small number, but these are the breadwinners from the families,” Hamdan said. “There’s a lot of work to do.”

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Milwaukee-based immigrants’ rights group Voces de la Frontera, admitted there could be more detainees than currently known, but 11 families have confirmed an arrested family member.

Neumann-Ortiz said American citizens had a responsibility to vote in November against Republicans and “xenophobic, white nationalist” President Trump, who she said is “escalating his war on immigrants.”

Giselle, a teenager whose uncle was arrested, said ICE identified themselves as local police and lied to get her uncle out of the house. She said ICE officers would not allow her uncle to change out of his underwear and taunted him in front of his kids.

“They’re basically destroying our family,” she said, noting that her uncle is his family’s only source of income. “We don’t know what we’re gonna do now.”

Mayor Soglin was joined in his denunciation of ICE activities by U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, who referred to ICE as a “growingly rogue agency … significantly off its mission.”

Pocan said he reached out to ICE for information but did not receive any. He pledged to meet with ICE officials in Washington, D.C. next month to “make sure ICE has a melted presence in this area.”

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said ICE has not made an attempt to contact him or anyone from the sheriff’s office. He urged the federal government to allow local law enforcement to handle immigration-related business in their jurisdiction.

“ICE is acting out of character,” he said. “We won’t let this go unnoticed or unaddressed.”

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UW-Madison released a statement pledging to not cooperate with ICE or provide immigration status on anyone affiliated with the university, unless forced to by law.

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