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A Milwaukee family pulled up to their home on Monday only to find a half-dozen ICE agents waiting for them, Kristine De la Cruz said in an interview with FOX6. She immediately knew they were there for her husband, Jose De la Cruz-Espinoza, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.
“It was so scary. It was just horrible,” Kristine, who caught part of the arrest on video, told FOX6. At one point in the video, she can be heard shouting, “I ain’t opening my doors!” while her daughters cried in the backseat. And it wasn’t just ICE officers who were waiting; Kristine said a local police officer also got involved in the arrest.
“There were six ICE agents at our car. Kept knocking at our window. Next thing I knew, another Milwaukee police officer walked up, put his arm into my car, unlocked my car — my door flew open.”
The officers then handcuffed her husband, she said.
In a statement to FOX6, the Milwaukee Police Department said its officers didn’t take part in the arrest but that ICE officers did flag down police officers and ask them for help. ICE maintained that De la Cruz-Espinosa refused to cooperate.
“As ICE officers were effecting this arrest, De la Cruz-Espinosa was uncooperative and refused to exit his vehicle or follow lawfully issued commands,” an agency spokesperson told FOX6. “After some time, De la Cruz-Espinosa complied with officers. Ultimately, ICE officers arrested De la Cruz as he was stepping out of the car.”
Milwaukee’s Fire and Police Commission Standards and Policy Committee is now set to vote on a measure restricting local law enforcement’s ability to collaborate with ICE on Thursday, according to Newsweek. The measure would change the police department’s operating procedures, which currently do “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.”
During another ICE arrest in July in Kansas City, officers smashed a family’s car window and dragged out the passenger they were trying to arrest while his girlfriend and child watched. Local police also assisted in that arrest
“I don’t care whose property it is,” one officer responded. “You roll the window down or I’m gonna break it. That’s how it’s going to go. They’re here to talk to you and take you back to where you need to go, so you can either get out of the car, or we’re going to break the window and you can get out of the car. Which one are you going to do? You can either do it the hard way or the easy way.”
Cover image: Screenshot via Kristine De La Cruz's Facebook.