MILWAUKEE – ACLU of Wisconsin executive director Chris Ott made the following statement regarding Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ remarks blaming Racine County’s COVID-19 outbreak on “immigrant culture.”

“Speaker Vos should apologize or explain his claim that the outbreak of COVID-19 in Racine is a product of ‘immigrant culture.’ It’s a product of immigrants being more likely to have jobs as essential workers, which puts them at higher risk of infection. It’s also a product of racial discrimination and economic disadvantages which raise barriers to adequate healthcare and  often deny immigrants and people of color the safer work and living conditions that others benefit from.

We should be thanking and rewarding essential workers, not blaming them. Instead of scapegoating immigrants and trying to pathologize whole cultures, if Speaker Vos truly wants to help in this crisis, he should use his power to protect essential workers, people of color, and other groups most affected by the virus.”


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