Woman Records Scene Inside Family Car As ICE Pulls Husband Out While Daughters Cry And Scream
Milwaukee Police Department is facing backlash after officers with the department were caught on camera helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) execute an arrest. The collaboration is troubling for the immigrant community in Milwaukee because Chief of Police Alfonso Morales previous said that local law enforcement would not collaborate with the immigration officials. Several police departments across the country, including Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, have stated that they would not adhere to federal mandates by helping out ICE when looking for backup and/or information during their raids. Other cities, police departments have been mandated to cooperate with ICE.
The Milwaukee Police Department is accused of assisting ICE to detain a father who now leaves behind his wife and three daughters.
The Milwaukee Police Department released the following statement, according to the Shepherd Express that expresses they assisted ICE because they were requested to:
“Enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws is the responsibility of the federal government, particularly the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Accordingly, the Milwaukee Police Department does not unilaterally undertake immigration-related investigations and does not routinely inquire into the immigration status of persons encountered during police operations. This prohibition does not preclude the department from cooperating with federal immigration officials when requested, or from notifying those officials in serious situations where a potential threat to the public is perceived.”
The only reason the public is aware of this detainment by ICE and the Milwaukee Police Department is because of a local immigration organization was informed of the detainment as soon as it was happening and recorded the entire thing.
Voces De La Frontera was informed that Jose Alejandro De la Cruz-Espinoza was being detained as he was parked outside of his house after his wife called them on their hotline. The hotline was set up for any undocumented immigrant to request help. The video shows individuals confronting police officers and asking them if they had a warrant, and if they had shown the warrant to De la Cruz-Espinoza family.
An immigration advocate asked a Milwaukee police officer why he was there helping ICE, the officer said that they just happen to be in the area.
The unnamed man tells the officer “we pay your taxes, you’re supposed to be working for us.” The officer responds by saying, “that’s why we are here, to make sure you don’t meddle in their business.”
“I just can’t believe the Milwaukee Police Department is collaborating with ICE.”
The heartbreaking video shows the moment that De la Cruz-Espinoza steps out of the car and his daughters are there screaming and crying. A woman in the video, who Voces De La Frontera said is his wife, said in the video that ICE agents reached into her car through the window and unlocked it. “They wouldn’t let us say goodbye, they wouldn’t let us hug him. Nothing,” according to a Voces de la Frontera press release. “They physically dragged my daughters out of the car, and they did not provide a search warrant. They terrorized my family.”
The video also has the immigration advocate saying “Chief Morales is gonna love to see police collaborating with ICE.”
Late last year, according to the Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Police Department Chief Morales said that the immigration community should not fear the police and that they would not work with ICE. “I promised to bring back the public trust. My job is to bring (back) trust from the community and work with them; my job is not to go out and enforce those types of laws.” He did say, however, that the police would work with ICE in the cases of “homicides, armed robberies or high-level drug offenses.” He added, “We are not a sanctuary city — we’re here to enforce the laws,” Morales said.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Milwaukee, released the following statement:
“At a time when the MPD and Chief Morales should be focusing on improving practices and rebuilding damaged relationships with the community, their decision to join in immigration enforcement undermines the confidence and trust of Milwaukee residents. Having local police participate in immigration enforcement also makes our city less safe. When people believe that police officers will enforce immigration laws against them, they become less willing to report crime or serve as witnesses for fear that the police will help deport them. Moreover, this arrest ran counter to the intent and spirit of MPD’s own Standard Operating Procedure 130, and prior statements by Chief Morales. It must end.”
Here’s a video shot by De la Cruz-Espinoza’s wife from inside the car.
A Gofundme page has been set up for the family. Click here if you’d like to help.