UPDATE (WKOW) — Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say 83 people have been arrested in Wisconsin, during a four-day enforcement action.
ICE officers were in 14 counties since Friday. 20 people were arrested in Dane County and five in Rock County. Other arrests happened in Brown, Door, Eau Claire, Kewaunee, Marathon, Milwaukee, Oconto, Outagamie, Racine, Taylor, Trempealeau and Waukesha counties.
Officials say 44 of the 83 people arrested have criminal convictions. Two of the Madison arrests involved sex offender crimes. Other crimes include child abuse, domestic violence, OWI, identity theft, battery and illegal re-entry after deportation. 16 of those arrested had no prior criminal convictions.
Six of those arrested are women and 77 are men, from eight countries: Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
The enforcement action ended Monday, according to a news release from ICE.
MADISON (WKOW) — The Latino Chamber of Commerce said they believe about seven businesses have had to shut their doors because not enough employees are showing up due to fears of Immigration Customer Enforcement Officers (ICE) in town. ICE agents have been spotted around Wisconsin and the Madison area since Friday.
It’s becoming a common theme, signs on establishment notifying the public their closed. McDonald’s on East Washington Avenue had to close their lobby Tuesday because management said too many employees called in sick. The manager on duty did not clarify if employees called out sick because of ICE. Madison’s Deputy Mayor Gloria Reyes did say ICE agents came to the establishment, but there’s no indication whether they were there looking for someone specific and ordered a cup of coffee.
The Latino Chamber of Commerce said it’s a growing concern among their community, too many living fear they can’t leave the house. A branding and marketing expert for Latino businesses said it’s come to the point where parents are asking their young children to go grocery shopping because their too worried about being detained.
“If they see you just because you look Hispanic, they might get picked up for any reason just to ask if they have proper documentation,” said Temo Xopin, President of NeuroReplublica.
ICE spokeswomen released a statement they are only targeting specific individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security. But it’s who else they might grab is most concerning to the Latino community.
“While looking for those specific individuals, ICE officers sometimes encounter others who are also in violation of U.S. immigration laws,” said Nicole Alberico, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “However, as leadership has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of U.S. immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”
CEO and President of the Latino Chamber Commerce said they feel it’s an attack on everyone and needs more details to calm the community about how long ICE agents will be here and who they’re targeting.
“That would really create a better understanding of how we can disseminate the communication to our community and keep them in the loop,” said Jessica Cavazos.
Cavazos said some posts on social media are making matters worse with rumors of agents targeting schools and waiting for people. She said most are false and if you don’t have a record you should stay calm.
On Monday, Tipsy Cow Bar Brewpub posted on their door a notice they will be closed due agents in town.
“Tipsy Cow will be closed today, due to the current pressure on the Latino community. We will reopen as soon as we can. We are sorry for any inconvenience.”
Owner Michael Banas said none of his employees were arrested and all have proper documentation. He’s hoping to open back up this week if enough employees show up.
More on this story from WKOW 27 News