MILWAUKEE -- The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and community representatives gathered at Milwaukee's City Hall on Wednesday morning, February 22nd to address what they call serious issues with President Donald Trump’s most recent executive order on immigration.
The community activists called on President Trump to abandon his executive order that aims to increase border security and the number of undocumented immigrants deported.
"These executive orders are sweeping, reckless and cruel. They have no regard for the impact that it will have on families," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz from Voces de la Frontera.
In a set of guidance memos released on Tuesday, February 21st, the Department of Homeland Security said ICE agents will now have the authority to go after anyone suspected of living in the country illegally. In the past, only those convicted of serious crimes were removed.
"There are some individuals that might have alternative motives, and that's what we're really concerned with when you give someone unchecked, sweeping discretion that they have," said Darryl Morin, past national vice president for LULAC.
The memos also mention the 287-G program which enables local law enforcement officers to perform the duties of ICE agents.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has come out against the program, saying it will deter victims of crimes from contacting police while Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he plans to enroll his department in the initiative as a public safety priority.
Activists said they agree that there shouldn't be open borders, but argued this order is the wrong approach.
"We call on Trump to move carefully and to develop compassionate immigration policies, including a systematic fair pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants," said Elana Kahn of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.
Speakers at Wednesday's news conference also encouraged Wisconsin residents to contact their elected officials and ask them to reject the executive order.