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‘No progress’ on FOIA Act submitted by Rep. Pocan demanding answers on ICE

MADISON (WKOW) — Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI) said there’s been ‘no progress’ after he filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to gain information about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) presence in Wisconsin last month.

Pocan submitted the request on Friday for more details from the agency’s visit. He also met with ICE officers in D.C. weeks ago where the representative said he was given few, if any, answers.

His request asked the agency who it was targeting and the biggest unanswered question on why ICE did not inform local law enforcement when its agents were in town. Pocan said an ICE officer called the Dane County Sheriff’s Office to inquire about their 911 call center, but never revealed officers would be in the state. It’s unusual for a sitting representative to send a FOIA request to a federal agency but Pocan said the move was needed.

“We’ve waited weeks and weeks and have not got any answers we ask,” said Pocan. “My first time in my six years in Congress I’ve had to submit a FOIA because I have an agency that’s not cooperating.”

Pocan also wants information on whether officers are giving detainees information about how to seek assistance from their local lawmakers. A piece of paper is typically given to detainees but might only be provided in English.

The congressman was also the author of a bill that would eliminate ICE, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security. The measure was criticized and shot down by several Republicans because they argue that move could ‘open up borders.’

Pocan refuted that claim, saying ICE doesn’t control the borders. The leading agency for deportations is ICE and it is not directly involved in carrying out family separations.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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