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Immigration Advocates Protest Outside Milwaukee ICE Office


Immigration activists in Wisconsin are raising more concerns about federal immigration policy — this time about what’s allegedly happening at county courthouses.

About 100 people protested last night outside the Milwaukee office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The activists say they’re watching ICE, because the immigration agency under President Obama has now deported about two million people. Critics like Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo West say many of those deported are undocumented residents, who are not threats to public safety. West says more undocumented people are being taken into custody when they show up at county courthouses for valid reasons.

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“You have good citizens who are in the courthouse, sometimes trying … to get a protection order, or because they want to support their children through child support,” West said, “Or because they want to be good citizens and pay a ticket they got on the freeway… and now they’re being detained.”

Twenty two Democratic state lawmakers are asking for a meeting with officials from ICE and the Department of Homeland Security. The legislators say ICE is doing racial profiling.

A spokeswoman for ICE’s office in Chicago says her agency is focused on deporting convicted criminals who have re-entered the U.S. after being previously removed, and those with outstanding deportation orders.

ICE says of 7,800 people deported by the Chicago office last year, 78 percent were convicted criminals.