CONTACT: Melissa Moore Baldauff, Director of Communications
MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele released the following statement in response to a press release and accompanying letter sent today by the U.S. Department of Justice:
“As with all federal grants we receive, we take very seriously compliance with all relevant laws. The Byrne grants are no exception. We are in compliance with the law and will share the required legal opinion by the date requested.
“More broadly, the fact that concern by the Department of Justice was communicated via press release, rather than a direct inquiry as typically happens in the professional relationships we have with other federal agencies, is a departure from past practice, the value of which is unclear.
“What is clear, however, is that the implication in their release that “many of these jurisdictions are also crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime” is neither accurate nor productive. What is happening in Milwaukee is that homelessness and unemployment rates are down. Access to healthcare and transit is up and we have a booming downtown.
“Milwaukee County has its challenges but they are not caused by illegal immigration. My far greater concern is the proactive dissemination of misinformation, fear, and intolerance.”