'Here are the facts:' Sheriff responds to supervisor who said residents spotted ICE agents in Racine County

RACINE COUNTY -- Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling on Tuesday, July 16 issued a lengthy response after a Racine County supervisor said residents had reported seeing United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in the community.

Racine County Supervisor Fabi Maldonadon (2nd District) issued this statement to Sheriff Schmaling Tuesday, and shared it with the media:

"Hello Sheriff Schmaling,

I have gotten multiple reports from constituents that they have seen ICE agents in our community today 07/16/2019 and are seeing higher than the usual amount of deputies in the Northside areas of the City such as the hospital and Lockwood Park area. Currently, there are national raids going on and I want to make sure the children from Racine County are not losing their parents.  Do you know why ICE is in our community? Are you working with ICE?  I tagged a few reporters here because this issue is near and dear to my heart. I hope to get a response.

Thank you,

Supv. Fabi Maldonado 2nd District - Racine County"

Sheriff Schmaling issued this response:

"County board Supervisor Maldonado is wrong.

The decision to enforce laws cannot be made based on heart-felt opinions, political views and/or outright community grand standing.

Maldonado could have simply chosen to contact me directly. Rather, he chose to send an email and copy six news media stations. I believe this was a deliberate attempt to gain political attention and recognition.

Here are the facts and truths.

We did not assist ICE, nor did they request our assistance, in taking any persons into custody today. That said, should ICE or any other law enforcement agency request our assistance today, tomorrow or any other day, I will certainly provide it to them as we took an oath to enforce the laws.

Regarding the increase in our presence near the hospital today and in the City of Racine, two of our staff members were violently assaulted in the jail and are being treated at the hospital. Additionally, in the city, a drug raid was conducted, and numerous Sheriff’s deputies stormed a convicted felon’s apartment and took this known cocaine dealer, Terry L. Jackson, m/b 7-6-81 (not related to ICE) into custody.

With respect to the Racine County Jail bookings/intakes, our population today is 764, of which we have “no one” in custody with only an ICE detainer. We do have seven in custody with serious charges of which ICE has placed a detainer on them. Of which, the most recent booking that involved an ICE detainer was in June of 2019. Currently, there are no inmates in our custody on an immigration hold only. All seven immigration inmate holds are males and the most serious charges are as follows:

• Exposing a child to harmful materials
• Possession of Cocaine
• Threats to a Judge
• Possession w/ Intent – Cocaine
• Resisting / Obstructing
• OWI causing Injury
• OWI 4th Offense
• Battery
• Disorderly Conduct

The suggestion that Racine County Sheriff’s Office is involved in these ICE roundups is completely false. Although they don’t need to contact me, we have received no emails, calls or communication for assistance from ICE whatsoever.

Immigration is a national conversation, resolution to this global issue will not be found in Racine County, Wisconsin.

We will continue to enforce the laws that we have sworn to uphold.

Christopher Schmaling
Sheriff, Racine County"