The Dane County Immigration Task Force in May recommended an end to routine reporting to ICE at booking. Weeks later, the Madison City Council went on record in overwhelming opposition to the jail reporting policy, recommending that only inmates charged with felonies be flagged for ICE.
Meanwhile, also in Madison, Wisconsin:
[Dane County Sheriff Dave] Mahoney says he won’t change his policy. “I have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure the security of everyone in my institution,” he says....
Local professionals who work with undocumented immigrants, mostly Latinos, speak passionately of how fear of deportation because of the jail policy affects lives of immigrant families.
The fear can paralyze, says Prudencio Oyarbide, coordinator of Clinica Latina at Mental Health Center of Dane County, a nonprofit agency serving low-income people. He says that some of his clients greatly fear making a misstep that brings them to the attention of police, to jail, and then to deportation: “They have significant impairment. They can’t work, they can’t sleep, they obsess all day long about making a mistake that ends life as they know it.” He estimates that 10 percent of his caseload of 45 to 55 clients shows fear that rises to this level of disorder.
Amy Kucin oversees Mental Health Center programs for adults with drug and alcohol issues. She sees how the fear of deportation complicates the challenges of kicking a habit. “I have a client who was arrested for drinking and driving and is working on sobriety,” she says. “He has so much fear about being out in public that he has to remind himself that his problem is drinking and driving — not looking Latino in public. The anxiety around that is really a struggle. He drives to work and goes home. Other than that, he does not go out."...
Gov. Jim Doyle denied a request Tuesday by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to file a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit against Arizona over its new immigration law.