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Brown County Supervisor asks sheriff's office to work more with ICE

Brown County Supervisor asks sheriff's office to work more with ICE (WLUK/Dave Duchan)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Brown County Supervisor Guy Zima is asking the Brown County Sheriff's Office to work with federal agents to help deport undocumented people.

Zima said by doing so, it could help ease the overcrowding in the jail.

"If we could find a way to empty the jail in whatever way possible and I certainly don't want to have illegals putting burden on us," said Zima.

The Sheriff's office would need to undergo training with federal immigration agents.

The deputies would then be able to use federal databases and question inmates about their immigration status.

Zima's plan only applies to people who have already been arrested and are in the Brown County Jail.

"I'm not suggesting that we go do sweeps of the community I'm saying if people find their way into jail and they're not legal citizens we don't want them here," said Zima.

"It doesn't benefit Brown County, it doesn't benefit the jail because we have a good working relationship with ICE," said Sheriff John Gossage.

Gossage explained the jail already has a similar process in place with ICE agents and said the county only had 21 undocumented inmates transferred to ICE agents last year.

"Now if we have an influx in foreign born nationals then we'll say well then it's something that we might look at exploring," added Gossage.

"From even what I hear from the entire Hispanic community is, if it is someone who is criminal, anybody who is undocumented or citizen doesn't want criminals here," said Sister Melanie Maczka, the executive director of Casa ALBA Melanie.

Casa ALBA Melanie is the Hispanic Resource Center of the greater Green Bay area. Maczka said she has talked to the sheriff about the proposal and said as long as it targets people already in jail, her group does not have any concerns.

"The majority of undocumented people here are good wholesome people who are contributing to the community and are hardworking and faithful and we don't anticipate that they are going to be the people that are going to be put in jail."

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