The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Singleton-Freeman, Voces de la Frontera, 414-469-9206,

Today is a Day Without Latinos and Immigrants in Wisconsin

Work stoppages, business closures, and student walk-outs seen statewideLatinos, immigrants, students, workers, business owners and allies will unite across Wisconsin to defeat racist, anti-immigrant legislationAB450/SB369 would lead police to investigate people’s immigration status and detain undocumented people for deportationSB533/AB723 would block counties statewide from issuing local identification cards to people who cannot access state ID


Who: Thousands of immigrant families, students, religious leaders, supporters, Wisconsin Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, We Are All Milwaukee Coalition, Voces de la Frontera, dozens of supporting organizations statewide What: Wisconsin Day without Latinos and Immigrants 2016: Statewide business closings, workers' strikes, and student walk-outs. Massive mobilization on the Capitol in Madison to defeat AB450/SB369 and SB533/AB723 and fight for civil rights

When: Thursday, February 18th. Mobilization on the Capitol begins at 10am. Students will walk out from schools across Madison to converge on the Capitol at 10am.

There's something in the air...

Where: Assemble at State Capitol in Madison, State Street entrance.

Photo and interview opportunities at bus departure points statewide:

Milwaukee: 1027 S. 5th Street, 7:30am-8am Racine: 2100 Layard Ave,, 7am-7:30am

Whitewater: 1225 W Main St, 7:30am-8am

Wisconsin Dells: 603 Oak St., 7:30am-8am

Lake Geneva: 100 E. Geneva Square, 7:30am-8am

Green Bay: 2350 E. Mason St., 6:30am-7am

Baraboo: 825 8th St., 7:30am-8am

Sauk City: 115 Madison St., 7:30am-8am

Appleton: 213 E Wisconsin Ave, 6:30am-7am

Wausau: 220 S. 18th Ave. 5am-5:30am

New Berlin: 21300 W. Greenfield Ave., 7:30am-8am

Beaver Dam: 511 S. Spring St., 8:30am-9am

Why: To resist two racist, anti-immigrant bills (AB450/SB369 and SB533/AB723, see above for details) and demonstrate the enormous need to advance pro-immigrant policies at the state level, Wisconsin immigrant communities are calling for THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH, TO BE A DAY WITHOUT LATINOS AND IMMIGRANTS IN WISCONSIN. Dozens of businesses will close and workers in cities and towns throughout Wisconsin will to go to the Capitol instead of work. Hundreds of workplaces including dairies, farms, factories, cleaning companies, printers, hotels, fast food and restaurants, and countless others will be affected by worker absence. Dozens of schools statewide will be missing students. Hundreds of students will walk out of schools throughout Madison and march on the Capitol.

"Today we are seeing a general strike of thousands of Latino and immigrant workers that is causing major disruption in industries throughout Wisconsin," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. "Latino small business owners also have joined with workers to close their businesses and stand together against this racist attack from the state legislature. In the dairy state, immigrants produce 60% of the milk, and dairy farmers are standing up for their workers to oppose these bills. Workers and their families are mobilizing on the Capitol to tell Governor Walker and the Wisconsin State Senate to stop these racist, anti-immigrant bills from moving forward. Wisconsin needs Latino and immigrant workers, and today everybody knows it.

"This battle is giving us the opportunity to build a statewide structure to organize the Latino vote that will challenge any candidate who is anti-immigrant in 2016 and beyond. Wisconsin's fight reminds us that Latino and immigrant workers are willing to flex their economic power to send the message that they will not stand idly by while politicians try to pass laws that threaten their families and take for granted their labor."

Buses and car caravans will arrive from more than 19 cities throughout Wisconsin beginning at 10am. Students walking out from throughout Madison will converge on the Capitol at the same time.

The program will start at 10:30am at the State Street entrance of the Capitol featuring dairy workers, immigrant workers, Latino business owners, Madison Chief of Police Mike Koval, student leaders, new Latino U.S. Citizen voters whose parents are undocumented, State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa. At 11:30am, marchers will begin to move inside the Capitol.

There will be a program from 12pm till 1pm, inside featuring the Madison Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, allied community members affected by the Legislature's blocking of local ID programs, and music. Delegations will visit the office of Governor Walker and every legislator to urge them to oppose the bills.

For more information, visit our website at:

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.