Voces de la Frontera: Immigrant families rally to celebrate Tony Evers’ inauguration & inclusion of driver licenses & tuition equity in Wisconsin budget

Contact: Sam Singleton-Freeman, sfreeman@vdlf.org, 414-469-9206

MADISON, WISCONSIN
– On Monday, January 7th, Voces de la Frontera will hold a celebratory rally outside of Governor-elect Evers’ inauguration at the Wisconsin State Capitol, to urge legislators to pass Governor-elect Evers’ proposed budget, including driver licenses and in-state tuition for all. The rally will include a brief speaking program, which will begin at 9:30AM, and include immigrant families, farmers, religious leaders, and more. Voces de la Frontera members are expected to come from Milwaukee, Green Bay, Lake Geneva, Racine, Waukesha, and elsewhere, as well as from Madison.
“Right now, without a driver license, it is very difficult for so many of our families to do basic everyday things like take our kids to school or go to the grocery store,” said Karina Sanchez, a mother and member of Voces de la Frontera’s Green Bay Chapter. “We pay taxes, we work hard, and we we contribute. Right now, many immigrant families are being separated after being stopped for driving without a license. We are fighting to restore driver licenses and keep families together.”‘
“As advocates our main goal is to save lives and ensure survivors’ safety,” said Veronica Figueroa, Executive Director of Unidos, a Madison-based community organization that works to end domestic violence. “A driver license can save a survivor’s life. A driver license is a door to independence, empowerment, and building a new life. Passing a driver license bill is a tremendous opportunity to support and empower survivors and aid them in the process of escaping abuse.”
“The Wisconsin Farmers Union recognizes the important role that immigrants play in our society and on our farms, and has for years supported the issuance of driver cards to allow immigrant workers, their families, and their farm employers to come out of the shadows,” said W. Michael Slattery, a farmer, economist, and member of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. “This approach is the way that we can be responsible citizens with our neighbors and employees, particularly in light of the inability of the US Congress to formulate a just and comprehensive immigration policy.”

“We are excited that Governor-elect Evers is including driver licenses and in-state tuition for all in his proposed budget,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “We are committed to engaging voters from both parties and independents across the state to support these proposals, which will only strengthen Wisconsin. We urge leaders in the legislature from both parties to support these provisions.”

“Wisconsin’s immigrant communities make significant contributions to Wisconsin’s schools, communities, and economy and deserve to be treated humanely,” said Ken Taylor, Executive Director of Kids Forward. “They help Wisconsin maintain strong, vibrant communities and can further contribute to the livelihood of our state by being allowed to obtain driver licenses. By expanding this access to Wisconsin’s immigrant communities, lawmakers can make sure that our state is a great place to work, drive, and raise a family—for everyone.”

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