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Immigrant allies rallying in nationwide day of action

Continue reading Immigrant allies rallying in nationwide day of action

Voces de la Frontera: We must now redouble our efforts

The immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera announced a series of community forums throughout Wisconsin following the victory of Donald Trump, who has vowed to build a wall on the Mexican border, conduct mass deportations and institute a ban on certain types of people coming to America.

The first forum will be at St. Rafael Catholic Church, 2059 S. 33rd St., Milwaukee, at 1 p.m. on Nov. 13.

The second forum will be at the Racine Labor Center, 2100 Layard Ave., Racine, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, issued this statement after the election:

“For 15 years, Voces de la Frontera has fought to defend immigrant workers and their families. With every organizing tool available, our community has ceaselessly protected itself from the same xenophobia that has now risen to power in the government. We’ve done it through marches, rallies, civil disobedience, lawsuits, building electoral power and more. With Trump’s election, we must now redouble our efforts.”

She continued, “The immigrant rights movement is resilient, militant and rooted in working class identity. Our movement has broad experience mobilizing strikes, walkouts, boycotts, and economic action when political action has not been possible, as we did in Wisconsin when we defeated anti-immigrant state legislation earlier this year by organizing a Day Without Latinxs and Immigrants. If we see any movement to erode what our movement has won, like DACA, we will do whatever is needed to protect it. We are committed to organizing nationally with our networks and broadening the struggle to include other groups of workers and people who have been threatened by Trump.

“Trump’s message of fear and division unfortuantely resonated with white blue collar voters, who have suffered economic hardship similar to African Americans and Latinos. In the decimation of union organization, they don’t feel there’s a voice for them. But I do not believe that the majority of those people represent the worst elements of the Trump camaign – the far-right, white supremacist ideology we’ve seen. I think that most Trump voters want the same things that people of color want and need. And the promise they hoped to see in Trump will be betrayed, because he never ran on a platform that supported working people.”

The day after the election, Voces de la Frontera held a news conference where members spoke about how they are responding to Trump’s victory.

“I’m scared,” said Valeria Ruiz, 20, a DACA beneficiary from Racine. “From one day to another, my future, my 9-year-old sister’s future and that of more than 9 million undocumented immigrants in this country, is suddenly less certain. It’s terrifying. But we will do what we’ve always done – unite and fight.”

“I have a beautiful family,” said Lola Flores, an undocumented mother of four and Voces de la Frontera member from Waukesha. “Today my daughter called me from her middle school and told me that her Latino classmates were crying. It’s heartbreaking. But I will never stop fighting for the future of my children.”


 

La elección de Trump significa que tenemos que defendernos sin descansar

MILWAUKEE, WI – Después de la elección de Donald Trump como Presidente, Voces de la Frontera anunció una serie de foros comunitarios a en el estado de Wisconsin. El primer foro será en la Iglesia Católica San Rafael (2059 S 33rd St en Milwaukee) a la 1pm el domingo 13 de noviembre (más información aquí). El segundo foro será en Racine Labor Center (2100 Layard Ave en Racine) a las 5pm el domingo, 13 de noviembre (más información aquí).

En respuesta a los resultados electorales, Voces de la Frontera publicó la siguiente declaración:

“Por 15 años, Voces de la Frontera ha luchado para defender a los trabajadores inmigrantes y sus familias,” dijo Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Directora Ejecutiva de Voces de la Frontera. “Con todas las herramientas de organizar disponibles, nuestra comunidad se ha protegido sin cesar de la misma xenofobia que ahora () ha subido al poder de los Estados Unidos al gobierno. Lo hemos hecho a través de marchas, manifestaciones, desobediencia civil, luchas, representación del poder electoral y más. Ahora, tenemos que redoblar nuestros esfuerzos.

“Nuestro movimiento tiene una amplia experiencia movilizando huelgas, boicots y la acciones económicas cuando la acción política no ha sido posible, como lo hicimos en Wisconsin cuando derrotamos a las propuestas de ley anti-inmigrantes anteriormente este año al organizar un Día sin Latinxs e Inmigrantes. “Este movimiento basado en los derechos de los inmigrantes es resistente, militante y basado con la identificación de la clase trabajadora. Si vemos que cualquier de nuestros esfuerzos están siendo amenazados para ser elimanados, como DACA, vamos a hacer lo que sea necesario para protegerlos. Estamos comprometidos a organizar a través de nuestros redes nacionales y ampliaremos nuestra lucha para incluir a otros grupos de trabajadores y personas amenazadas por Trump.

“El mensaje de miedo y división de Trump resonó con los trabajadores blancos, que han sufrido dificultades económicas similares a los afroamericanos y a los latinos. Con la decadencia de las uniones, no sienten que hay una voz para ellos. Pero yo no creo que la mayoría de esas personas representan a los peores elementos de la campaña de Trump – la ideología de la extrema derecha, la supremacía blanca que hemos visto. Pienso que la mayoría de los votantes por Trump quieren las mismas cosas que la gente de color quiere y necesita. Sus esperanzas en Trump serán traicionadas, porque Trump nunca creó en una plataforma que apoyaba a la gente trabajadora.”

El miércoles, Voces de la Frontera tuvo una conferencia de prensa donde unos miembros de la organización hablaron sobre cómo están respondiendo a la victoria de Trump.

“Tengo miedo,” dijo Valeria Ruiz, de 20 años, una beneficiaria de DACA de Racine.”De un día para otro, mi futuro, el futuro de mi hermana de 9 años y el futuro de de más de 11 millones inmigrantes indocumentados en este país es de repente menos seguro. Es aterrador, pero haremos lo que siempre hemos hecho: unirnos y luchar.”

“Tengo una hermosa familia,” dijo Lola Flores, una madre indocumentada de cuatro hijos y miembra de Voces de la Frontera de Waukesha. “Hoy mi hija me llamó de su escuela media y me dijo que sus compañeros de clase latinos estaban llorando. Es desgarrador, pero nunca dejaré de luchar por el futuro de mis hijos.”

Artist paints caricature of Donald Trump using her menstrual blood

A tweet sent by GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump following the last Republican debate has inspired a highly original new work of art — a caricature of The Donald’s face painted by a woman using her own menstrual blood.

During the debate, Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump to explain his misogynistic comments about women. That prompted Trump to tweet a misogynistic comment about Kelly, saying that she was so angry at him, “You could see there was blood coming out of her you know what.”

The entire world knew what, including Portland artist Sarah Levy. She told bitchmedia.org that she waited patiently for her period to arrive in order to respond to Trump’s insult in kind.

When her Aunt Flo finally paid a visit last Saturday, Levy collected her menstrual blood in a tampon and a DivaCup, according to the website.

“I did a base layer of his face using the tampon from that morning that I had saved, then used a paint brush and Q-tips dipped in vials of the blood from the DivaCup to paint the rest of it,” Levy explained.

The result perfectly captures Trump’s craggy, jowly, flush face in a familiar snarl. Levy said she plans to auction off the original and sell prints on www.etsy.com.

She’ll donate proceeds to an immigrant rights organization, although she hasn’t yet decided which one.

Voces de la Frontera challenges Walker on immigration

Voces de la Frontera, a leading immigrant rights group in Wisconsin, called Gov. Scott Walker’s latest position on immigration shameful and slammed the presidential hopeful for anti-immigrant remarks.

In an interview with ultra-conservative talk show host Glenn Beck on April 21, Walker repeated his recent claim that he once supported “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants but no longer does and that immigrants who entered the country illegally should leave.

Walker also said legal immigration must also be limited, citing right-wing U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as an inspiration.

“The next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages,” Walker said. “Because the more I’ve talked to folks — I’ve talked to Sen. Sessions and others out there, but it is a fundamentally lost issue by many in elected positions today — is what is this doing for American workers looking for jobs, what is this doing to wages, and we need to have that be at the forefront of our discussion going forward.”

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, responded, “It is shameful for Gov. Walker to continue his flip-flop to the extreme right when it comes to justice for immigrants and working families. By announcing his support for restrictions on legal immigration and aligning himself with Sen. Sessions, the leader of the nativist wing of the Republican Party, Gov. Walker has showed his true colors. It is ridiculous for this governor to advance restrictions on immigration as a measure to protect U.S. workers, when his own actions demonstrate his disregard for the plight of working class families in Wisconsin.”

She continued, “His governorship has been a disaster for working families in Wisconsin, immigrant and U.S.-born alike and no amount of trying to pit communities against one another can divert attention from his shameful record.”

Voces de la Frontera, which is based in Milwaukee, is organizing its May Day rally on May 1 and, in the statement, urged people to join the march for immigration reform and to call out Walker.

“This May 1, we call on community members to join us in marching to demand the implementation of administrative relief now, passage of immigration reform with a path to citizenship, funding for public education, living wages and the restoration of collective bargaining rights for all workers,” said Neumann-Ortiz.

Voces de la Frontera Action gets out the vote for Mary Burke

Mary Burke, the Democratic candidate for governor in Wisconsin, has won an endorsement from Voces de la Frontera Action, the 501(c) 4 advocacy arm of Voces de la Frontera.

The organization, in its statement, said it strongly supports Mary Burke for governor because she is the candidate committed to working for all of Wisconsin’s working families.

The organization’s endorsement read, “Mary Burke supports immigrant civil rights, a minimum wage increase, increased funding for our public schools, colleges and universities and effective job creation policies. We urge all voters and particularly all Latino voters to vote for Mary Burke because of her position on these important issues. Her opponent has slashed education funding at all levels, failed to create the jobs he promised, undermined the living standards of Wisconsin’s working families while dividing the state and diverting critical resources to his political supporters.”

The group, which released its endorsement as President Barack Obama was expected to arrive to Milwaukee to support Burke, has been canvassing in support of Burke in 15 wards in the southside of Milwaukee. Its volunteers have knocked on more than 20,000 doors.

Voces encouraged voters to get out and vote for Burke in the general election and to also volunteer in the final week of the campaign.

In its announcement on Oct. 28, Voces de la Frontera Action also repeated its call to the president “to use his executive authority to protect immigrant families from deportation. Law abiding workers, who have lived in this country for decades, have U.S. citizen children, and have no criminal record, are being detained and deported. We urge President Obama to expand his successful Deferred Action program to protect these families. President Obama promised he would take executive action to protect immigrant families before the end of the summer if Republicans continued to block immigration reform. President Obama should expand his successful deferred action program, which brought hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth out of the shadows. Their parents have earned the right to work and participate in society without fear of deportation.”

Action against deportations set for Milwaukee, coincides with Obama visit

Immigrant rights activists will gather at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 outside North Division High School, where Voces de la Frontera and Youth Empowered in the Struggle will call on President Barack Obama to keep immigrant families together by expanding his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect all immigrants from deportation.

The activists’ gathering coincides with the president’s visit to Milwaukee. They are protesting Obama’s decision to delay taking executive action to stop deportations until after the Nov. 4 general elections. At events around the country in support of Democratic candidates, Obama has been met by immigrant rights advocates and families calling on him to stop deportations now.

YES member Denis Montero received protection from deportation from the DACA program, which granted legalization to immigrant youth in 2012. He said on Oct. 28, “DACA has meant that I can feel a degree of relief while doing things that others take for granted,” said Denis. “More importantly it has provided some hope, a breath to take in this struggle. Just like us, our fathers and mothers deserve to feel that relief, to do things like drive and work without fear.”  

Meanwhile, Voces member Carla Calderon’s husband Jose was detained by ICE and placed in deportation after going to the Ozaukee County Courthouse to pay a traffic ticket.

“Jose was unjustly detained because he doesn’t have a driver’s license,” said Calderon. “We have lived here 17 years and he has no criminal record. Now my two children fear law enforcement, and we live knowing that my husband could be deported. I want President Obama to keep his promise and give security to my family, and to all 11 million of us who are here.”

The immigrant rights activists hope to distribute leaflets as people arrive to the event with Obama at North Division High School, 1011 W. Center St., Milwaukee.

Class-action suit seeks lawyers for minors facing deportation

Three children who witnessed the killing of their father in El Salvador left the violence seeking refuge in the United States. They now face deportation hearings, and expect to go to court without a lawyer.

A 15-year-old boy abandoned and abused in Guatemala came alone to the United States. He too faces a deportation hearing without a lawyer.

As does a 17-year-old boy who fled gang violence and recruitment in Guatemala to live with his dad in Los Angeles.

These minors are among the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit charging the federal government with failure to provide thousands of children with legal representation in deportation hearings.

The American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel and K&L Gates LLP filed the lawsuit earlier this month, at the same time a surge of tens of thousands of minors coming to the southern border became a central issue in the U.S. capital and in midterm elections across the country.

The plaintiffs came to the United States from Mexico and Central America. Some were seeking refuge from the violence in their homelands and all of them are scheduled for deportation hearings this summer but lack legal representation.

“If we believe in due process for children in our country, then we cannot abandon them when they face deportation in our immigration courts,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. “The government pays for a trained prosecutor to advocate for the deportation of every child. It is patently unfair to force children to defend themselves alone.”

The Obama administration recently announced a limited program to provide legal assistance to some youth facing deportation hearings, but the attorneys in the case say the proposal does not come close to meeting the need.

“Each day, we are contacted by children in desperate need of lawyers to advocate for them in their deportation proceedings,” said Kristen Jackson, a senior staff attorney with Public Counsel, a nonprofit law firm that works with immigrant children.

She said pro bono efforts have been valiant, but they cannot meet the need.

The complaint charges the U.S. government with violating the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause and the Immigration and Nationality Act’s provisions requiring a “full and fair hearing” before an immigration judge. 

It seeks to require the government to provide children with representation in their hearings.

“Requiring children to fight against deportation without a lawyer is incompatible with American values of due process and justice for all,” said Beth Werlin, deputy legal director for the American Immigration Council.

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