PRESS CONTACT: Jessica Schmidt, 414-469-9206, [email protected]
MILWAUKEE – Voces de La Frontera Action is on the move. Despite Covid-19 fears, over 1,500 Voces members and allies marched 2.5 miles from the new statewide Voces headquarters at 7th and Mitchell Street to the Federal Building. At the rally on the steps of the federal building, Voces delivered a strong message to President Biden and Democrats in the US Congress that now is the time to deliver on his promise of citizenship for 11million.
“Today we stand with immigrant essential workers and demand they be treated as the heroes they are,” said Livia-Rowell Ortiz, reading an official statement from Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera Action. “In the 2020 elections, we delivered a major victory, defeating a dangerous fascist administration and ushered in a majority of Democrats in the United States Congress. Today, May 1st, we march to demand that politicians that benefited from our efforts use their power to include legalization of workers in the second pandemic relief bill that will be voted on mid-September.”
They also delivered a “Horses Ass Award” to Senator Ron Johnson for his alignment with the far right, disregard for those needing pandemic relief, and his anti-immigrant rhetoric and voting record.
Simultaneously, Voces had a national delegation of 41 immigrant essential workers and their families that traveled to DC to be part of a national march, that marked the end of a national caravan, crossing over 40 states, with the same demands. Voces speakers at the national event included:
Eduardo Perea, a construction worker from Milwaukee said, “We immigrant essential workers struggle the same as everyone has been struggling in this pandemic, but more. We are right on the frontlines with our jobs, putting ourselves at risk. We deserve the resources we need to continue doing our jobs, and safely. We are at the frontlines and we have managed to keep working and contributing to the country, despite not receiving any stimulus checks from the government. President Biden and Democrats: ACT NOW. Create the roadmap to citizenship.”
Alondra Garcia, a DACA recipient and Milwaukee Public School Bilingual Elementary Teacher. “Why can’t we be free? We are immigrants. We can make the United States a place where ‘we the people’ includes ALL of us. We can work together to make our country a home where everyone can thrive and reach their full potential, no exceptions. Our families must have a roadmap to citizenship, not be treated as expendable and deportable. Because Immigrants are Essential. “
As not everyone could come to the events, FonduLac members organized a local action, the first May Day rally in FonduLac, led by immigrant essential workers.
At the Milwaukee May Day event, an emergency announcement was made that anti-immigrant Republicans in the Joint Finance Committee are planning to remove the provision in the ‘Governor’s budget proposal that restores access to state driver licenses and state IDs, as well tuition equity for Wisconsin immigrant youth from the state budget on
Voces’ leadership has pledged to mobilize its members and allies to Madison on Thursday, May 6, and make their case before the Joint Finance Committee. Buses and cars coming from all over the state will arrive at the Capitol by 10:00 am. A rally will take place on the Capitol steps and then Voces’ members and their allies will participate in the Joint Finance Committee Meeting starting at 11:00 am and make their case for keeping the drivers license and tuition equity the state budget.
“There was a time in Wisconsin when we could have drivers licenses, but that was taken away from us in 2007”, said Eduardo Perea. “Not having a driver’s license makes it extremely hard for us to do our jobs and our daily routines like taking our kids to school or going to the store. We face discrimination when we are looking for jobs, and fear deportation when we are just trying to do our jobs. We are asking for the opportunity to continue doing the jobs we already do, but safer and better.”