Gronik campaign: Response to Gov. Walker’s Silence on the Importance of Immigration in Wisconsin

Contact: Brandon Weathersby, 414-553-6257 brandon@andygronik.com

MILWAUKEE – The following is the statement of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik with regards to Scott Walker’s silence on the importance of immigration in Wisconsin:

“Immigrants are our partners in Wisconsin and I’ll treat them with this kind of respect when I’m governor.  Governor Walker’s silence regarding the importance of immigration in Wisconsin is politically motivated and cowardly, just like his ridiculous offer to send National Guard Troops to the border between the U.S. and Mexico to appease the “big dog,” President Donald Trump.

“Let’s break this down into simple terms.  The dairy industry contributes over $43 billion to Wisconsin’s economy and immigrant labor is responsible for keeping many of these operations open and running efficiently.  Without immigrant labor, our dairy and food processing industries would be devastated, and Scott Walker knows it. That’s why his silence and inaction is mind-boggling and unacceptable.

“It’s not just about Wisconsin’s dairy industry.  Undocumented immigrants living throughout our state have a direct and substantial impact on Wisconsin’s economy in every imaginable way.  Immigrants pay taxes that pay for our schools and roads. Immigrants shop in stores and buy gas. Immigrants pay rent, run successful local businesses and contribute to their communities.  The positive impact of immigrants is felt by everyone in our Wisconsin community. That’s why I fully support and will be participating in, the statewide March, “Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants,” on Tuesday, May 1st, at 10 AM in Cutler Park, organized by Voces de la Frontera – www.vdlf.org/mayday2018.  Call 414-643-1620 for more info. This March will bring important attention to the real financial impact our Hispanic community has on our state and everyone who lives here.   

“Gov. Walker’s silence regarding the positive contributions made by undocumented immigrants living in Wisconsin is unworthy of a statewide leader.  Gov. Walker’s willingness to allow Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to conduct raids and arrest undocumented workers picking their children up from school or attending church or at other places where they are simply trying to live their lives is weak and inhumane.   Gov. Walker’s actions are forcing hard-working families to live in the shadows, fearful of being separated from their loved ones and the life they’ve built for themselves on brutally hard work. This isn’t MY Wisconsin and it’s not OUR Wisconsin either.

“When I’m governor, Wisconsin will honor the contributions of our immigrant partners and stop unfair deportations.  We’re going to issue everyone (who qualifies) living and working in the state of Wisconsin a valid driver’s card so nobody lives in fear that a traffic stop could lead to deportation.  We’ll make our roads safer by ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality and affordable auto insurance. All farm workers will be paid fairly for all of the hours worked.  Children of immigrant laborers will be able to pay in-state tuition should they chose to attend one of our technical colleges or universities. And, local law enforcement will be mission-focused on public safety and building trust with diverse communities at the local level and NOT upon serving as an extension of ICE.  Read more about my positions on immigration and social justice on my website at https://andygronik.com/issues/social-justice-and-immigration/.

“Gov. Walker’s desire to pour gasoline on the garbage fire President Trump has built around immigration is a human tragedy of massive proportion and it must stop.  I’d ask anyone on the other side of this debate to answer this very simple question — “Do you know a Wisconsin resident who lost their job to an undocumented worker?”  I suspect the overwhelming answer to this question is “no.” Please join me in allowing our immigrant partners to live a good Wisconsin life in our state. And, please support me in calling for an expeditious path to citizenship and a permanent solution for DACA recipients.  It’s who we are in Wisconsin. Let’s reject Gov. Walker’s cowardly and highly political BS and begin living with kindness and empathy toward people who simply want a better life for their families. It’s who we are as Wisconsinites. It’s who we’ll become again when I’m governor.” 

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