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On May 1st, I will be part of a Racine delegation marching in solidarity as part of the Day without Latinos and Immigrants general strike to resist Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson’s decision to turn his deputies into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents through a federal program called 287g.

Officers deputized under 287g are allowed to interrogate and detain community members based on their perceived immigration status. The program has repeatedly been found to increase discrimination and racial profiling and lead to a decrease in reporting crimes.

Like the majority of Americans, my family immigrated here. Trump has attacked the immigrant community throughout his presidency, from going after the Dreamers to trying to ban our Muslim brothers and sisters. I will not stand for this.

Sheriff Severson’s actions are a threat to the state of Wisconsin. If 287g can take root in Waukesha County, it will embolden local Trump-aligned politicians to implement similar policies statewide.

Since 2007, undocumented immigrants in Wisconsin have been barred from applying for a driver’s license. These are the people who will be targeted if Sheriff Severson goes through with his plans: our neighbor driving their kids to school, fathers driving sick relatives to the hospital, and mothers driving to work. 287g will increase racial profiling and lead to civil rights lawsuits.

Sheriff Arpaio’s implementation of 287g in Maricopa County led to millions of dollars being spent on litigation for civil rights violations and abuse of power. A court found Arpaio guilty of criminal charges for racially profiling and harassment of the Latino community.

As Racine County Board Supervisor I will do everything in my power to stop this from happening in Wisconsin.

We are witnessing a historic upsurge in progressive organizing. The Blue Wave is happening, and my election is just one example for what is coming for Wisconsin. People want bold progressive stances and there are many here to deliver. As happened to Sheriff Clarke, Sheriff Severson’s actions are inspiring the upsurge that will sweep these hateful policies aside. On May 1st, we will see Wisconsin’s future.

Fabi Maldonado is the Second District Racine County Supervisor of the Second District.

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