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Federal Government Overstated Criminal Histories Of Those Arrested In ICE Raid, Pocan Says

Pocan's Office Only Able To Confirm Criminal Records For 23 People

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan
Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan speaks about a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid at a press conference on Monday, March 11, 2019 in Madison. Laurel White/WPR

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan said Monday the federal government overstated the number of people with criminal histories who were arrested during a statewide U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid last September.

In October, Pocan said he first requested the federal department share information about the criminal histories of the 83 individuals apprehended. He received that information last month.

Shortly after the arrests, ICE issued a statement saying more than half of the individuals arrested had prior criminal histories.

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According to Pocan’s office, at least 39 of the individuals arrested did not have criminal records. His office was only able to confirm criminal records for 23 people.

Pocan said his office identified six driving under the influence charges, two sex offenses, one assault, one battery and other charges, including traffic offenses and prostitution.

“What you’re not going to see is human trafficking. What you’re not going to see is drug dealing. What you’re not going to see is MS-13 or gang activity, that we hear over and over about,” he said.

Pocan argued President Donald Trump was largely to blame for the agency’s “reprehensible” action.

“This is an agency that is running rogue under the direction of this president,” Pocan said. “He is using it as his police force, his personal police force in order to justify a wall and I find this reprehensible.”

ICE did not immediately return a request for comment.

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