Sheriff Clarke asks feds for immigration enforcement authorization

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke signed a letter of intent Wednesday asking the federal government to authorize his office to do immigration enforcement in Milwaukee County.

If approved, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office would become the first law enforcement agency in Wisconsin to receive the authorization under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) program.

The program allows a state or local law enforcement agency to partner with ICE and receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within its jurisdiction, according to a description on ICE’s website.

If ICE officials authorize the Sheriff’s Office as a partner, deputies would participate in a four-week basic training program in South Carolina, according to the ICE website.

During the “Day Without Latinos” demonstration in February, several thousand people protested in downtown Milwaukee against the sheriff’s interest in the 287(g) program.