Ruling shields jail’s records on suspects
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee’s sheriff does not have to release information on people at his jail suspected of being in the country illegally because the federal government prohibits it, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The 4-2 decision from the court’s conservative majority reverses lower-court decisions that ordered Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to disclose the information under the state’s open-records law.
In its ruling, the Wisconsin Supreme Court said a federal regulation makes the jail records that an immigration advocacy group seeks exempt from disclosure.
Milwaukee-based Voces de La Frontera in February 2015 filed the request for records identifying whom the sheriff had held at the request of immigration authorities for the previous two months. The group said it wanted to know whom the sheriff was detaining and whether they had criminal records to meet the narrower guidelines former President Barack Obama previously set for deportation.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the group would appeal.