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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2013
12:02 PM

CONTACT: Voces de la Frontera

Joe Shansky, joe@vdlf.org, (414) 218-3331
Nancy Flores, nancy@vdlf.org (414) 429-5265

Wisconsin Immigrants Kick Off National Bus Tour in Milwaukee to Demand Path to Citizenship

"Keeping Families Together" Tour Will Call on Lawmakers to Pass Fair Immigration Reform Now

WASHINGTON - February 21 - Wisconsin immigrants will be boarding a bus today in Milwaukee to kick off the Midwest leg of the 19-state “Keeping Families Together” national bus tour. The bus riders will call on policymakers to include a path to citizenship in immigration reform legislation.


“The Keeping Families Together campaign elevates the voices of families that have been splintered by our broken immigration system,” said Nancy Flores of Voces de la Frontera. “The principle goals of the campaign are to advocate for citizenship for the undocumented, restore family unity as a core principle in all aspects of our immigration law and keep immigrant families united.”


In Milwaukee, Voces de la Frontera is sponsoring "Principles for An Immigration Reform Bill -- A Listening Session for Representatives of Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congresswoman Gwen Moore," which will feature testimony from undocumented youth, bus riders and solidarity statements from the partnering organizations. Attendees will be community members explaining through personal testimony how Wisconsinites have been affected by the broken immigration system and what they feel should be included in a reform bill.

As the tour winds through the state (or in some cases, states) bus riders will tell their stories of dealing with the current immigration system and why it needs to be fixed immediately.


“It breaks my heart to see my kids pray every night for their father to come home,” says Jennifer Martinez, an American citizen from Wisconsin whose husband was deported back to Mexico last year, and who is now working two jobs to care for her four young children.


"I hope that the President is successful in his goal of providing a path to citizenship - but I also have learned that it's hard to have faith in the same people and policies that broke my family. This tour is an opportunity to share our stories with both elected officials and our own community."


The bus tours are being held in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington state and Wisconsin. The northeastern leg of the tour will culminate in Washington, DC on March 12 with an event on Capitol Hill.

The tours are part of the “Keeping Families Together” campaign sponsored by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a national coalition of leading grassroots organizations fighting for immigration reform at the local, state and federal level in 30 states. For more information on Keeping Families Together and to hear stories from families that have been torn apart because of our broken immigration system, go to www.keepingfamiliestogether.net.

TOUR DATES;

KICK OFF EVENT IN MILWAUKEE, WI: Thursday February 21st Prince of Peace Church 1138 South 25th Street, 5:30 pm

"Principles for Immigration Reform Bill" - A listening session for Representatives of Senator Baldwin and Congresswoman Moore- Featuring testimony from undocumented youth, bus riders and solidarity statements from the partnering organizations.

MADISON, WI: Friday February 22, 7 pm First UMC Madison Family Unity Prayer Vigil, 203 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison. Join in an evening of word & song, stories of immigrants & immigration reform and prayer led by Bishop Jung.

CHICAGO, IL: Monday February 25th, 10 am, Event with Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights - Press conference at Federal Building at 11:00AM, outside the offices of U.S. Senators Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk, (Jackson Av. and Dearborn)

KALAMAZOO, MI: Monday February 25th, 7 pm, Alliance for Immigrant Rights event - St. Joseph Catholic Church, 930 Lake St. 49001

INDIANAPOLIS, IN: Tuesday February 26th, Action in late morning/early afternoon - Details to be determined

CINCINNATI, OH: Tuesday February 26th, 3pm Press Conference in House Speaker John Boehner's district, Dinner to follow

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Voces de la Frontera is Wisconsin's leading immigrant rights group - a grassroots organization that believes power comes from below and that people can overcome injustice to build a better world.



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