(MILWAUKEE, WI) – Just a few hours after President Biden announced that he included $100 billion for immigration reform as part of his Build Back Better framework, members of Voces de la Frontera participated in a civil disobedience action blocking rush hour traffic for one hour in front of Senator Tammy Baldwin’s Milwaukee office. Fifteen immigrants and allies sat on large banners unfolded in the streets that said “Democrats: Citizenship Now!”
Today, immigrants, allies and faith leaders will continue to pressure Senator Baldwin by holding vigils outside of her offices in Madison and Green Bay. The Madison vigil will take place at Noon CST, and Green Bay vigil will take place at 4:30 p.m. CST.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, said, “We are at a critical moment in the struggle. We celebrate that President Biden announced that there is $100 billion in the Build Back Better budget that the House will be voting on soon. It’s there because of us – the immigrant rights movement. But, now it is critical that Senator Baldwin and our Wisconsin Democratic members of Congress stand with us and say that the Senate must pass citizenship with a Democratic majority and disregard the Senate Parliamentarian’s biased advice. You cannot have a pandemic relief bill that does not include immigrant workers and the Latinxs that helped elect them. We’re going to keep the pressure on until they get this done.”
Leslie Flores, the 19 year-old US citizen daughter of undocumented immigrant essential workers who participated in the civil disobedience action with her 13 year-old brother, Luis, said to the crowd, “My brother and I are here with my parents, who’ve called Wisconsin home for more than 20 years. We’ve fought really hard to get to this point, and we are very close to winning. We need Senator Baldwin and Democrats to fulfill their promises. As children of undocumented immigrants, we have to keep fighting for a better future for our families and stop living in fear. The struggle continues, ¡sí se puede!”
Andre Walton, Alderman from Sheboygan who also participated in the civil disobedience action said, “You marched with us in the Black Lives Matter marches and now I march with you for citizenship. The only way we’re going to win any change in this country is if we stand together, and that’s why I’m here. We need a path to citizenship. We cannot let politicians say one thing on the campaign trail and do another thing when they get into office. If they want our vote they have to earn it.”