Almost 150 days after submitting a request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, released data showing no undocumented persons arrested during the September raids in Dane County were violent felons in a press conference on Monday afternoon at the Capitol.
The press briefing was in regard to the Freedom of Information Act he requested from ICE demanding more information about recent raids to determine the efficacy of the arrests.
Over four months after Pocan’s request, ICE responded with a 411-page document, of which 294 pages were completely redacted and the language weighed down with jargon.
The data showed that out of the 83 people arrested during the raid, 39 had no criminal records. Those with criminal records had no violent crimes.
Pocan believes this data contradicts ICE’s purpose for the raid, which was to arrest undocumented people who were dangerous felons.
“What you're not going to see is drug dealing, what you're not going to see is human trafficking, what you're not going to see is MS13 Gang activity,” Pocan said.
During the press conference, Pocan addressed his frustration with the data given to him, claiming ICE failed to prove “pertinent information” by being non-compliant with his requests.
Pocan also addressed the lack of transparency with the Dane County and Madison Police Departments.
Aug. 2, nearly six weeks before the raid, police departments in the surrounding areas of Madison were notified of the raid. Both the Madison and Dane county police departments, however, were not notified until Sept. 27, the day before the raid.
“They misrepresented what they did, or as people from Kenosha would say, they lied,” Pocan said. “I think they intentionally lied to our local elected officials, and we are going to continue to pursue this in the very best way that we can.”
Pocan believes ICE purposely deceived elected officials as well as the local sheriffs' departments in Dane County because they feared the local communities would interfere with the raid. He said ICE called Dane County “radical” in relation to the community’s often liberal views toward the rights of undocumented citizens.
“Very interestingly, Sherriff Mohney is apparently a radical, in case you didn't know that,” Pocan stated.
During the raid, Pocan said ICE officers left an underaged child unattended after detaining the child’s legal guardian. Pocan addressed this within the six questions he put forth, but the protocol involving underaged dependents of those detained was left unanswered by ICE.
As Pocan waits for the disclosure of more data from the September raids, he believes the undocumented immigrants that have been detained are not criminals, stating “the White House is using ICE as its own personal police force to justify a wall.”
“This White House has abused an agency that was created after 9/11 to go after domestic terrorism, but now in some communities it’s creating the domestic terrorism it’s supposed to be going after,” Pocan said.