Immigration lawyer responds to 'disconcerting' ICE arrests

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - After 83 ICE arrests in the state of Wisconsin, twenty in Dane County and five in Rock County, immigration lawyers say they are inundated for with questions and advice for help.

“It’s clear they are trying to make a point in Madison and a point has been made,” says Grant Sovern, a lawyer with the Community Immigration Law Center.

Sovern also works with Dane County Immigrant Collaborative, which brings together several different organizations to put resources towards helping those affected by the ICE arrests.

Sovern says many don’t want arrests like this to happen again.

“It’s just too disconcerting to the community,” he adds. “They’ve sewed havoc in our city and people are looking for answers.”

Sovern believes the biggest challenge facing those detained are access to the right resources. He feels it’s not saying everyone is in the country legally, but those detained are owed the right to legal counsel.

“It doesn’t mean everybody won’t be deported,” explains Sovern.
“It just means that everybody should have the resources so they know where their family is, they know what rights they have and they get a fair shake in front of the judge.”

Sovern says there are only two pro-bono lawyers who work in Dane County and that the community wants city and county officials to provide more resources.

“So that’s all we want in our community is for people to get due process,” says Sovern.

Dane County Immigrant Assistance Fund is providing contributions to seven different agencies to help provide lawyers, assist with citizenship applications, and explain the green card processes.

Sovern also encourages any affected by the arrests can contact Fabiola Hamdan, the Immigration Affairs Specialist for Dane County at 608-242-6260.