Voces de la Frontera announced statewide action in 5 or 7 counties to pressure Governor Walker to veto several unpopular Republican anti-immigrant bills in Wisconsin.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
February 26, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Friday, Latinos, Democratic state legislators, conservatives, several non-profit organizations, a Milwaukee alderman including State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milw.) held a press conference outside at the Super Mercado El Rey to announce continue statewide efforts to prevent several Republican anti-immigrant bills (AB 450/SB 369 and AB 723/SB 533) from being enacted into law in Wisconsin. Representative Zamarripa said that Governor Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa) told her that he doesn’t want for the State Senate to take up AB 450. Zamarripa stated, “that Governor Walker does not wish to see AB 450, the ‘Sanctuary Cities’ bill, be placed on the Senate calendar and be sent to his desk. Unfortunately it does appear that he is unwilling to veto SB 533, which would prohibit many immigrant Milwaukeeans from having access to a local identification card.
“This fight is not over. I encourage members of the public to keep up the pressure on Gov. Walker and Republican legislators against both of these anti-immigrant bills in the weeks and months ahead.” Rep. Zamarripa also said that last week Arizona voted down two similar bills that Republican state legislators in Wisconsin used to create the current controversial anti-immigrant bills in the state.Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera stated, that “on March 14th, there will be statewide local actions in the 5 to 7 counties with the largest concentration of Latinos and immigrants in the state to send a message to Governor Walker to veto SB 533 and AB 450, if it were to come to a vote.
“The truth is, we will not know, if AB 450 is really dead until March 15th, the last day the Senate will be in session, so on March 14th, we will continue to give voice to the statewide opposition to these anti-immigrant, racist bills,” Neumann-Ortiz stated.
German Sánchez from Green Bay representing WISDOM says that Governor Walker needs to veto both bills. Sánchez has worked in a dairy farm for 10 years in Wisconsin.
Darryl Morin, the former Vice-president of LULAC, Midwest and Board member of the Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc., which operates the annual weekend Mexican Fiesta during the press conference says, that Latino Republicans, conservatives and Democrats have come forward to oppose these bills and people are working behind the scenes to stop both anti-immigrant bills from becoming law. Last Wednesday, Morin on his Facebook account posted, “These efforts have resulted in an unprecedented demonstration of our resolve against legislation targeting our community. These bills seek to deprive the very human dignity with which each life is created, from so many who are simply seeking to provide for their families. I do wish to clarify the SB533’s current status. While passed by both the Senate and the Assembly, it is now before the Governor for his consideration.”
The first Latino Republican Party member, Manuel Pérez, former Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development under Governor Walker made his position clear to Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA), that he was opposed to both anti-immigrant bills and released his seven point approach to building bridges with the Hispanic community instead of barriers.
HNNUSA has attempted numerous times to contact and get his position on the anti-immigrant bills, but Reverend Joe Angel Medina, the current Wisconsin Republican Party Caucus Chair and member of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party in Wisconsin has been silent and is being criticized by fellow Latino Republicans for his lack of stepping up and opposing the anti-immigrant rhetoric and state legislative bills passed by State Republican legislators targeted at the Hispanic community. For a reverend, Medina seems heartless and not passionate enough for the plight of the Wisconsin immigrant community, according to some Latino Republicans.
Reverend Medina’s daughter, Amanda Medina-Roddy is currently running for the Waukesha School Board and Waukesha community members of the Latino community are wondering where she actually stands on the Republican anti-immigrant bills and rhetoric.
One of the anti-immigrant bills AB 723 was co-sponsored by State Representative Jessie Rodriguez (R-Franklin), but it was revealed on February 18 during the Assembly floor debate that she immigrated to the U.S. illegally from El Salvador and later gained her legal status. Since her previous illegal status became public, it has gone viral on the social networks and many Latinos have posted on Facebook what a shame today that she supports anti-immigrant bills and forgot where she came from.
Rodriguez has not responded to HNNUSA inquiries about her prior illegal status in the U.S.
Today, the State of Wisconsin is facing a decrease of exports to Mexico and a loss of $6 Billion partnership revenues between both Mexico and Wisconsin over several anti-immigrant bills (AB 450/SB 369 and AB723/SB 533) by the Republican controlled legislature. Mexican nationals in Wisconsin are pressuring President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) to act and advice Governor Scott Walker not to sign two anti-immigrant bills into law. They also want the EPN government to decrease all imported products from Wisconsin as a solidarity move with Mexican nationals in the state, if the bills become law.
Robert F. Miranda, former Esperanza Unidad Executive Director, Spanish Journal Editor-in-Chief and a columnist for Turkey’s newspaper Yeni Asya just published an article in Turkey titled “Turkey Should Scrutinize Trade With Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.” Miranda writes, that the anti-immigrant laws do certainly discriminate Hispanics, Muslims and immigrants. “These laws will negatively impact mostly Hispanic immigrants in Wisconsin, and will certainly negatively impact Muslim immigrants as well…Turkey should scrutinize Wisconsin’s motivations before engaging in trade with a state who’s current leaders are intolerant of Muslims and immigrants,” Miranda published in the Yeni Asya newspaper in Turkey.
Others present at the press conference were State Representatives Josh Zepnick (D-Milw.), Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milw.) and David Bowen (D-Milw.), Milwaukee Alderman José G. Pérez, Tammy Rivera (SOC), Ernesto Nava (former President of Empresarios Pequeños), Norys Pina, Patricia Ruiz, Tony Garnica, Attorney Marisabel Cabrera (MPD and Fire Commissioner), Ernesto Baca (UMOS) and Justin Bielinski, candidate for Alderman in the 8th Aldermanic District in Milwaukee.
Video: Latinos hold press conference in Milwaukee against WI Republican anti-immigrant bills https://youtu.be/inCFg6EuuJ8