Wisconsin anti-immigrant bill SB 533 recently signed into law by Governor Walker was co-sponsor by Republican State Representative Jessie Rodriguez who was an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador before gaining legal status in the U.S.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
May 17, 2016
Madison, WI – Last week, Wisconsin Republican State Representative Jessie Rodriguez (actual name: Yesenia Eldermira Rodriguez) from Franklin released a statement about her support for SB 533 (Wisconsin Act 374) that banned state county governments and towns from issuing local identification cards to undocumented immigrants. Rep. Rodriguez co-sponsored SB 533 and says that it would prevent Milwaukee County from issuing such ID’s to undocumented immigrants, but the City of Milwaukee can create City ID’s for local residents.
Rep. Rodriguez also criticized State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, a Democrat from Milwaukee for exposing Rodriguez’ illegal status when she first entered the U.S. with her parents illegally from El Salavador when she was just a child. Rep. Zamarripa first exposed Rodriguez’ illegal status and made reference to her support for SB 533 during the State Assembly session in March, which is controlled by the GOP. SB 533 passed both the State Assembly and the State Senate, which is also controlled by the GOP.
Rep. Rodriguez didn’t admit she was an undocumented immigrant in her released statement to El Conquistador Newspaper, but only criticized Zamarripa by saying, “the immigrant experience is not a thought experience for me…My coming to America as a young girl was a deeply personal experience for me at a time of great uncertainty in my life. Quite frankly, it’s a bit off-putting to be lectured by a legislator who barely speaks Spanish that my views are somehow anti-immigrant.” Rep. Rodriguez most likely can’t speak fluent Spanish either and criticized Rep. Zamarripa for at least speaking Spanish.
Rep. Rodriguez failed once again to address her prior undocumented status in the U.S. and has yet to admit she was an actual illegal alien herself before gaining legal status. Rodriguez stated that she is not an anti-immigrant herself, but has failed to support a United Farm Workers leader César E. Chávez optional holiday for state employees and has refused to support Rep. Zamarripa’s fight against the Republican bigoted and racist anti-immigrant bills that have been proposed and the recent passage of SB 533 by both state legislative chambers.
Rep. Rodriguez support for SB 533 only shows that she continues to stand with the GOP bigoted and racist movement against undocumented immigrants including from El Salvador, Mexico, South and Central Americans residing in the State of Wisconsin.
On Monday, members of Voces de la Frontera, a workers and immigrant rights organization held a protest and called for a boycott of Menards located in West Milwaukee. The protest was targeted at the owner of Menards who is one of the top campaign contributors for Republican Governor Scott Walker who signed SB 533 into law.