For Immediate Release
Wisconsin Immigrant Families Respond to Gov. Walker’s Attacks
In response to Governor Scott Walker’s decision to join Wisconsin to a lawsuit against President Obama to stop the administrative relief for immigrant families announced on November 20th, Voces de la Frontera issued the following statement:
“Governor Walker's latest attack on immigrant families is shameful, hateful, and irresponsible,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “Wisconsin is facing a $2.2 billion deficit, and we cannot afford to waste taxpayer money on a baseless lawsuit that is an empty political gesture catering to the most xenophobic elements of Walker’s political party. Immigrant families and the voters will not forget.”
Polls show that Latino voters, including Republicans, overwhelmingly support the new measures, which could protect some 4 million undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents from deportation, as well as hundreds of thousands of young people brought to the U.S. as children and know no other home. According to the same surveys, 64% of Latino voters know friends, family, or coworkers who are undocumented. Polls of the broader electorate find that 2/3 of all voters support the President’s plans.
Lesley Flores, 11 years old, courageously traveled to Washington, D.C., with a delegation of Wisconsin children whose parents had been deported or were under the threat of deportation to ask Republicans to support the comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress last year. The Republicans blocked the legislation. "I spoke out for my parents because I don't want them deported,” said Lesley. “I have friends in school who ended up in foster care after their parents were deported. Now, with the President's action my parents and my family are safe from deportation and we can be together without fear."
“Governor Walker and his party, who claim to uphold ‘Family Values,’ should stop playing politics with families. Governor Walker knows full well the important contributions immigrants make to our state's economy and future,” continued Neumann-Ortiz. “Courts have repeatedly found that the executive branch has broad discretion in enforcing immigration laws. President Reagan, President Bush, and other Republican presidents used executive orders to protect immigrants from deportation. Governor Walker should be focused on creating jobs and improving the economy, instead of attacking immigrant families. Wisconsin’s working families need jobs and a raise, not divide and conquer politics.”
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.