Frequently Asked Questions on the Proposed changes to Milwaukee Police Departments’ Policy on Immigration (SOP130)

Frequently Asked Questions on the Proposed changes to Milwaukee Police Departments’ Policy on Immigration (SOP130)

Voces de la Frontera and allied organizations propose changes to the existing Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) Standard Operating Procedure on immigration (SOP 130) to create stronger safeguards against collaboration between local law enforcement and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). These changes ensure that no information, resources, or people are transferred to ICE, unless there is a judicial warrant. It will also ensure that ICE does not use local law enforcement to conduct raids. The current MPD policy is discretionary and lacks due process protections. Barring collaboration between the MPD and ICE will decrease racial profiling, improve public safety, keep families together, and remove fear created in communities. Passing this policy affirms Milwaukee is a welcoming community that values the contributions immigrants make to our city and state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Isn’t there already a non-collaboration policy in place between ICE and MPD?

The current policy does limit collaboration with ICE, but the language is not strong enough and leaves too much discretion to collaborate with ICE. Specifically, the current policy does not offer guarantees that MPD will not collaborate with ICE, and uphold the constitutional rights of immigrants. With the federal administrations consistent rhetoric of utilizing local enforcement for immigration enforcement, stronger language is needed.

Immigrants are still reeling from raids that happened across Wisconsin in the fall of 2018 and widespread across the United States. In addition to the Federal repeals of important protections for immigrants, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status for Refugees (TPS), enforcement priorities, coupled with an increase in hate crimes, it is essential that the city of Milwaukee take a stand against cruel and senseless federal actions that break up families and undermine trust with local law enforcement.  

Q: What are the recommended changes?

To strengthen public safety, unless there is a judicial warrant, MPD must not share information with ICE or help ICE detain Milwaukee immigrant community members. This includes:

  • MPD officers will not assist in ICE raids.
  • MPD will not use any resources for immigration enforcement. 
  • MPD officers will not investigate people’s immigration status at any point.
  • MPD will not report people, share information with, or collaborate with ICE. 
  • MPD officers will not comply with warrantless requests from ICE to detain someone or transfer someone to custody; this includes I-247D, I-247N, or I-247X detainer request forms. 

 Q: Is it legal to deny collaboration if ICE requests partnership?

Any cooperation beyond what is required by state laws or court order is discretionary. Further, a state or local government that voluntarily assists federal immigration enforcement may incur financial liability.

Q: Why take this action?

  • When local law enforcement works with ICE, the result is to further sow distrust between local police and people in the community. For example, noncitizens and citizens who are the survivors of crimes — or witnesses to crimes —believe that they cannot go to the police for fear that the police will turn them or someone they know over to ICE.
  • In addition to hampering local law enforcement, police-ICE entanglement causes residents to feel unwelcome in their own communities. This is true even for citizens and for noncitizens with legal immigration status. 
  • Immigration arrests, detention, and deportations tear apart communities; deprive children of their parents, parents of their spouses, and communities of the important contributions made by their immigrant neighbors. 

Q: What are the benefits?

  • Sends a welcome signal that local law enforcement prioritizes local needs above federal immigration enforcement when spending taxpayer dollars and committing the time of local government personnel.
  • Non-collaboration is a crucial part of a broader set of policies aimed at ensuring that all residents feel safe and welcome in their local communities, regardless of their immigration status. 
  • Studies show that communities that implement non-collaboration are proven to be safer.

Q: Would this create a threat to federal funding?

In the wake of the Department of Justice’s threats to repeal federal funding for any jurisdiction they deemed “a sanctuary jurisdiction” for limiting cooperation with ICE, federal courts have upheld that cutting funding based on non-compliance to immigration enforcement is unconstitutional. 

Q: Where can I find more detailed information?

View a copy of our Tool Kit at:

We urge the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) to use a Standard Operating Procedure that clearly bars collaboration with ICE. Doing so decrease racial profiling, improve public safety, keep families together, and take away fear created in communities.