IRG’s CIO Investigates Immigration Crisis in the City of Whitewater 

Jun 24, 2024 | Annoucements, Press Release

June 24, 2024


Contact: Courtney Gustafson

IRG’s CIO Investigates Immigration Crisis in the City of Whitewater 

Over 400 obtained records suggest significant strain on local resources for the City of Whitewater after arrival of over 1,000 migrants from Central America 

Delafield, WI – Today, the Institute for Reforming Government (IRG) released a new report after an investigation into how America’s broken immigration system has placed crushing burdens on  a small Wisconsin City. This report is the most comprehensive review explaining how the arrival of migrants has drained resources in this small City, most acutely in the areas of education and public safety.

What Happened: Starting in early 2022, a gradual increase of migrants from Central America arrived in the City of Whitewater, and through no fault of their own, the City was unprepared to manage the influx of migrants.  According to the over 400 records obtained by IRG, City officials believe that the combination of a surplus of student housing during COVID-19, ample employment opportunities from local farms and manufacturers, and the identification of family members already residing in Whitewater made the City a magnet for immigrant families.

Why it Matters: All told from 2022 – 2023, the City estimates at least 1,000 migrants from Central America quietly established themselves in the sleepy college town of 15,000. The City has struggled to deal with the increasing strain on law enforcement resources, housing overcapacity, and the challenges associated with educating children with no formal background in schooling and often lacking basic English skills. These increasing burdens culminated in the Police Chief authoring a letter to the White House in December 2023, highlighting the challenges and begging for additional federal funding.

The Quotes: “Because of a completely broken federal immigration system, local units of government like the City of Whitewater are now being forced to manage a crisis that impacts almost every facet of government operations,” stated IRG General Counsel and Director of Oversight Jacob Curtis.  “Congress, the White House, and even the states must lead by securing the border, ensuring a clear process exists for removing violent migrants, and to the extent migrants have settled in a municipality, providing necessary resources for managing the impact on existing government resources.”

Rep. Bryan Steil stated, “President Biden’s border crisis has made every state a border state and every community a border community. IRG’s report shows in detail how the failure to secure the southern border has led to a cartel running illegal operations in our community. Law enforcement and social services are being burdened and the community is feeling the strain. The challenges the City of Whitewater is facing are a direct result of the administration’s open border policies.” 

What’s Next? Even after IRG’s exhaustive review, questions remain regarding the long-term impacts to the City following the influx of migrants over the last three years. For example, processes related to addressing over-occupancy at apartments, providing identification cards, determining the legal status of migrants, providing necessary resources to the School District, communicating with ICE regarding the detention status of violent individuals, and ensuring the Police Department has the resources to proactively police the City all remain unclear or underdeveloped.

How Can You Learn More? Tune into the Jay Weber Show right now on Newstalk1130 to hear Jake Curtis live on the radio for our first interview on this report. Listen to Jake’s interview on WSAU this morning to learn more about the report.

Stay tuned for more as IRG continues to monitor and investigate what is happening in the City of Whitewater.


IRG’s Center for Investigative Oversight was created in 2023 to hold government accountable.

The Institute for Reforming Government is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations.