Madison Woman recounts ICE officials targeting her home

MADISON (WKOW) — A Madison woman is describing her experience after a handful of ICE agents came to her house looking for her ex-husband, whom she divorced 15 years ago.

It was a typical Sunday morning for Jessica McClernan; getting ready for the day, cooking breakfast with her five-year-old son. Then they heard several knocks at the door.

“At first I thought they had the wrong address, then they started questioning me about my ex-husband,” said McClernan.

She said she has not had any contact with her ex for years. McClernan added that they have a daughter together, but their relationship is now estranged.

About a dozen men were all dressed differently, as she recalls. Some were wearing normal clothes and all were wearing bulletproof vests and holsters with guns. She said that’s when things started to connect.

“After a few questions I asked if they were ICE officers, they said yes. But when I asked for a card or identification then didn’t have any.”

It was then she realized dozens of officers were surrounding her house while her two children, visiting nephews, and her current husband were inside sleeping.

She said ICE officials then demanded to go inside her home and began threatening her.

“They said they would just keep coming back and there would be more of them until I let them clear the place.”

She denied their request, but the fear and anxiety they instilled in her remains.

“I think I processed it more after. I had to tell all the kids, don’t answer the door, don’t talk to anyone, if someone comes up to you at school, you don’t have to talk to them or answer anything.”

Now, stuck living an abnormal life after an experience she describes as gut-wrenching and terrifying, she said it could happen to anyone.

“I’m constantly looking over my shoulder now, thinking ‘Are they going to come to my house? Can I go to work, will they be there? Are the kids going to be there [at home]?’ ”

WKOW contacted ICE to see if her ex-husband had been taken into custody. We provided a date of birth, and name, but no luck. Officials said his name was “too common to find on the national database.”

McClernan said she still doesn’t know his whereabouts and has not contacted him since the encounter.

Shannon Hoyt

Shannon Hoyt

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