Join us for Voces de la Frontera’s Freedom Together Press Conference. We will outline our demands to the White House and the 117th U.S. Congress in Biden’s first 100 days in office – with only 66 days left until May 1st, the pressure is on and escalating daily. Our speakers will break down our Wisconsin-based organizing strategy to ensure that our key demands are met: 1) the inclusion of all immigrants, including those who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), in federal pandemic relief and 2) the legalization of essential workers, Dreamers, TPS holders, and their families in the second COVID-19 reconciliation bill, expected to be rolled out in late Spring or early Summer 2021.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera Action, said: “We had to work really hard to give Biden a chance in our communities, because of Obama’s legacy of enforcement and deportations. We need our progressive congressional representatives to throw down with us, especially our progressive Black and Latinx caucuses. We elected this administration to challenge institutionalized racism, so what are they going to do about it? In June or July of 2021 this window of opportunity to enact meaningful legislative change will be gone, once the second COVID-19 reconciliation bill passes. We are hopeful, but this will only work if we show up in strength and numbers NOW.”
Katherine Villanueva, a Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!) member at Milwaukee School of Languages and daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants, said: “Our immigrant community members have and always will be a staple part of our communities. During these challenging times, they have been tirelessly working and haven’t received any government support due to their status. Being able to survive during a global pandemic shouldn’t be something to pick and choose about. We demand them to be included in the next stimulus bill and to have a pathway to citizenship.”
- Luis Tapia, Dreamer and Essential Worker in the Service Industry
- Katherine Villanueva, YES! member at Milwaukee School of Languages and member of a mixed immigration status family
- Neri Mayorga, Immigrant Essential Worker in the Meatpacking Industry
- Mandeeq Abdulahi, YES! member at Riverside High School
- Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera
When: Saturday, February 27th 2021 at 11 am CST. You can RSVP to the Facebook Event Here.
Where: This press conference will be held outside the Milwaukee Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse: 517 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202. For press who wish to attend virtually, tune in to our Facebook Live at 11 am CST: facebook.com/
Why: Starting with day one of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, we have seen exciting developments for the national immigration rights movement. From executive actions such as the instatement of pro-immigrant executive orders and the introduction of Biden’s unprecedented U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, to exciting congressional actions such as the introduction of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s Roadmap to Freedom resolution and Representative Joaquin Castro’s forthcoming Citizenship for Essential Workers Act — all of these developments and more are testament to the national immigrant rights movement.
However, though the introduction of these various bills is testament to decades of organizing, it is unlikely they will lead to legislative change now because they require bipartisan support and currently winning the necessary Republican votes is extremely unlikely. This is why the current strategy of Voces de la Frontera, along with our national partners in the Fair Immigration Rights Network (FIRM), is to focus on inclusion and legalization of immigrants in the forthcoming COVID-19 reconciliation budget bills. These bills do not require bipartisan support, which means that we simply need to shore up our progressive Democrat representatives to stand with us and use their leadership positions to encourage other Democrats to stand with us as well. However, our window of time for this action is fleeting: the first budget bill will be passed by mid-March, and the second by early Summer. That is why it is crucial that everyone calls on their Democrat representatives in Wisconsin NOW, to ensure that our demands are met.