LULAC Opposes Department of Homeland Security’s Consideration to Appoint David Clarke for Assistant Secretary Office of Partnership and Engagement Role

May 23, 2017

Washington, D.C. – LULAC strongly opposes the Department of Homeland Security’s consideration of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke for Assistant Secretary of the DHS’s Office of Partnership and Engagement. Sheriff Clarke is currently the subject of ongoing federal lawsuits pertaining to the deaths of four inmates in six months in the Milwaukee County Jail last year, a rate about three times the national average.

The Department of Homeland Security has not yet confirmed Clarke’s appointment.

LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. issued the following statement:

“Sheriff Clarke’s actions clearly demonstrate that his values do not align with the Department of Homeland Security’s mission,” said Roger C. Rocha, Jr. “He is not fit to ‘ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism.’ Clarke is unable to provide protection to those in his own county, much less to the millions of Americans across our nation. He has a track record of abusing his power and neglecting the job the local community elected him to do. Instead, Clarke’s inflammatory statements ignite fear and tension between local law enforcement and activists, dividing our communities and making it difficult to work together to keep our streets safe. Americans deserve a senior homeland security official that can be trusted to uphold the law and who can ensure fair and equal treatment of minority and migrant communities.”

Among the four people who died in Clarke's Milwaukee County jail in 2016 was Terrill Thomas, a 38-year-old mentally ill man who died of dehydration after jail staffers turned off his water for a week as punishment for flooding his previous cell. A recent suit cites that 40 incarcerated women were forced to give birth in shackles and wear “belly-chains,” one of which lost her newborn.

In addition to the deplorable treatment of inmates in the Milwaukee County jail, Clarke also supports immigration legislation that hurts and separates families. He is an outspoken supporter of utilizing Milwaukee County Sheriff Deputies as immigration agents to enforce federal immigration law. The practice exhausts state resources to enforce federal law, erodes trust between the law enforcement and the minority community and it encourages racial profiling.

Stop Sheriff David Clarke from being appointed to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Partnership and Engagement and write to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.

Click here to read the letter that LULAC sent to DHS Secretary John Kelly.


The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit

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