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Congressman responds to Whitewater police chief’s letter to Biden

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(The Center Square) – A Wisconsin congressman is responding to the letter from Whitewater’s police chief to President Joe Biden.

Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., on Monday wrote to Chief Daniel Meyer about the letter he sent to the White House that asks for help with an influx of immigrants.

“Our country has a broken legal and illegal immigration system,” Steil wrote. “Our first order of business needs to be restoring sanity in our border policies and fixing the humanitarian crisis at the southern border. Communities like Whitewater will continue to struggle to properly serve their residents and maintain public safety until our border is secure.”

Meyer wrote the president at the end of December, asking for help after as many as 1,000 immigrants from Venezuela and Guatemala he says have moved to Whitewater since 2022.

The chief said the influx has led to a spike in crime, and put tremendous pressure on his officers.

“We have found approximately three times the number of unlicensed drivers on our roadways compared to previous years,” he wrote. “This occupies much of [our officers’] time and takes away from our ability to serve in other aspects. Our law enforcement staff have responded to a number of serious crimes linked to immigrants in some manner, including the death of an infant child, multiple sexual assaults, and a kidnapping.”

Steil said he will press the president to send help to Whitewater and other smaller communities that are feeling the pinch from the president’s immigration policies. Population of the city is about 15,000.

“I am working to force the Biden administration to change course to secure the border and stop the flow of illegal migrants into the U.S. and places like Whitewater,” Steil wrote. “It is evident through the multiple meetings we have had on this topic that your motivation is supporting your officers and serving the people of Whitewater. Illegal immigration is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a collaborative response.”

Whitewater’s city manager has since backtracked on the letter, saying it simply was a plea for help from the White House and not a condemnation or criticism of the people who’ve come to Whitewater.

Steil, too, said his concern is that Whitewater’s Police Department has what it needs to keep the city safe.

“The safety of families and children in Whitewater is my priority,” Steil wrote. “The illegal activity in our community caused by the border crisis is why I’m working to force the Biden administration to change course and implement policies that will secure the border.”

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