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On Tuesday, Earnell Lucas defeated Richard Schmidt in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s election to replace David A. Clarke Jr., who resigned as Milwaukee County sheriff last year to become a senior advisor to the pro-Donald Trump America First Action Super PAC.
Schmidt was Clarke’s longtime assistant Acting Sheriff, and the race quickly became a referendum on collaboration between the Milwaukee Sheriff’s Office and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in deportations through the use of warrantless ICE detainer requests, which Trump has used to separate thousands of immigrant families nationwide and which federal courts have declared unconstitutional.
Our allies at Voces de la Frontera Action and other grassroots groups worked to defeat Schmidt through their canvassing, phone banking, and mobilizing efforts and by exposing Schmidt’s true record concerning collaboration with ICE; his role in the deaths at the county jail; and his disturbing comments saying domestic violence survivors should submit to their spouse.
The following is a statement from Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera Action in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:
Voces de la Frontera Action organized to elect a Milwaukee County Sheriff who would stop collaboration with ICE in the separation of families. Our members canvassed, phonebanked, and texted thousands of Latinx and progressive voters in Milwaukee to support Lucas. We exposed Acting Sheriff Schmidt’s true record concerning collaboration with ICE, his role in the deaths at the county jail, and his disturbing comments saying domestic violence survivors should submit to their spouse. We educated voters about how the Sheriff’s Office under Schmidt was helping Trump separate Milwaukee families, and that electing Lucas would help keep Milwaukee immigrant families together. The results were an overwhelming affirmation that Milwaukee County voters do not want local leaders to collaborate with Trump in the separation of families.
The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Political Director at America’s Voice:
Earnell Lucas’ victory is a big win for the immigrant community and all the residents of Milwaukee County. The work of groups like Voces de la Frontera Action prove that organizing works. And, just as we saw in North Carolina with the defeat of pro-Trump sheriffs in Mecklenburg and Durham counties, all families, regardless of their immigration background, want to feel safe in their communities.