Two people in Door County and another four in Kewaunee County were among 83 people – six women and 77 men – arrested during a four-day roundup of individuals by deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). The roundup throughout Wisconsin ran through Sept. 24.
In an ICE press release, Ricardo Wong, field office director for ICE ERO Chicago, said, “We will continue working with our community law enforcement agencies in order to protect citizens and enforce immigration laws.”
However, law enforcement officials throughout the state, including Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle, said they were kept in the dark regarding this operation.
“We were not aware of anything. I saw it on the news like everybody else,” Delarwelle said. “It’s unfortunate they don’t let us know, but I guess that’s the way the federal government works.”
The ICE press release said arrests were made in 12 other counties as well – Brown (9), Dane (20), Eau Claire (4), Marathon (6), Milwaukee (15), Oconto (1), Outagamie (3), Racine (1), Rock (5), Taylor (7), Trempealeau (4) and Waukesha (2).
Of the 83 arrested, ICE said 44 had criminal convictions. Those arrested are from the following countries: Columbia (1), Guatemala (6), Honduras (2), Mexico (68), Nicaragua (3), Russia (1), Thailand (1) and Vietnam (1).
Sixteen of those arrested were immigration fugitives with no previous criminal convictions; 21 others illegally re-entered the United States after having been previously deported, which is a felony. Depending on a person’s criminality, a person who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted.