Over 100 businesses have announced that they will close
Who: Voces de la Frontera, immigrant workers, business leaders, teachers, students, families, religious leaders, law enforcement leaders, unions, more
What: Wisconsin May 1st Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants to Restore Driver Licenses for All
When: Wednesday, May 1st. Rally begins at 11am
Where: Wisconsin State Capitol, State Street entrance, Madison, WI. Buses leaving from cities across the state (times and locations here; local media is encouraged to interview people at departure sites)
MADISON, WISCONSIN – On Wednesday, May 1st, Voces de la Frontera and a coalition of dozens of community organizations and unions will hold a Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants statewide general strike and mobilization on the Capitol in Madison to urge the state legislature to restore access to driver licenses for all in Wisconsin regardless of immigration status. Over 100 businesses have announced that they will close, and community members are expected to come to Madison from dozens of cities across the state to rally at the Capitol at 11 am.
May 1st is a national day of action for immigrant and worker rights. Marches are expected in at least ten cities nationwide to resist the Trump Administration’s attacks on immigrant and refugee families and to demand policies that stop deportations and keep families together. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has included measures to restore driver licenses for immigrant Wisconsinites in his 2019-2021 state budget proposal, and the Dairy Business Association as well as leaders from both parties have spoken out in support. Wisconsinites could obtain driver licenses regardless of immigration status until 2007, when a law passed by the legislature the previous year to take licenses away from immigrants without a Social Security Number went into effect.
“We’re organizing this statewide Day without Latinxs & Immigrants to send a strong message to the state legislature that we need bipartisan solutions to restore driver licenses for immigrants,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “Driver licenses are a Wisconsin priority that needs to remain in the budget. Under the Trump Administration, we have seen continuous xenophobic rhetoric and relentless attacks and human rights violations against immigrants both in border communities and in places like Wisconsin. A simple driving without a license infraction is one of the primary ways that ICE has targeted people. This has had a negative impact on our economy as less people shop or work in jobs like agriculture and dairy where there is already a serious labor shortage. In the absence of immigration reform, as the state of Wisconsin, we need to step up and honor immigrant families and restore their right to drive, so people can have an identification when they engage with law enforcement and others, drive legally, have access to good insurance, and not live in fear of being separated form their families and communities. May 1st will be a day of solidarity for people of all backgrounds to stand for a welcoming and inclusive Wisconsin.”
To date, organizational cosponsors of the May 1st Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants to restore driver licenses in Wisconsin include Kids Forward, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, Madison Teachers Inc., Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, American Federation of Teachers Local 212, Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, United Steelworkers District 2, United Auto Workers (UAW) Southeast Wisconsin, Laborers Local 113, Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, IBEW Local 2304, Human Rights Campaign, United Food and Commercial Workers, UAW Local 469, Fight for $15 Wisconsin, Carpenters Local 264, UAW Local 1866, the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, and Milwaukee Turners.