The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Shansky,(414) 218-3331

100+ Wisconsinites Join Historic Protests to Tell Speaker Ryan & Democrats, Pass the Clean Dream Act Now!

2 Wisconsinites including a Milwaukee elementary school teacher arrested with 200+ national leaders in civil disobedience.


Over 100 DACA recipients, immigrant families, and supporters from Wisconsin travelled to Washington, DC on Wednesday to join an estimated 4,000+ people from across the country rallying to demand Speaker Ryan and members of both parties act to pass the clean Dream Act before the end of the year. Two members of the delegation, Tina Garcia, a teacher from Milwaukee, and Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, joined over 200 national movement leaders in refusing to move from the Capitol steps in an act of civil disobedience to pressure Congress to act now.

"In my 20 years teaching, I have had many students who are DACA recipients," said Tina Garcia, a Voces de la Frontera member and public elementary school teacher from Milwaukee who participated in the civil disobedience. "I have many students who are afraid that their parents could be taken from them. I am here because I am an immigrant, I come from immigrants, but more importantly, I'm here as a human being. I'm here because we all have dreams, and I'm here to defend the dreams of my students and their families, and to say we need the Dream Act now."

"I've lived in Milwaukee since I was 9 years old," said Mayra Jimenez, a DACA recipient and member of Youth Empowered in the Struggle. "I went to Washington because we need a clean Dream Act for my family, many of my close friends, and the youth like me. I hope what we are doing today will touch Paul Ryan's heart. The immigration system have been broken for decades. I ask Speaker Ryan to open his heart, to remember that his family came here from other countries. I hope he can understand how harmful the status quo harms families, and how the Dream Act would help so many.

"Hundreds of Wisconsinites came to Washington to deliver a strong message to Speaker Ryan and to Democrats," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. "It was an honor to be arrested with moral leaders from around the country who are fighting for families like the members of Voces de la Frontera. The clean Dream Act must be included in federal spending legislation this year. That is the best vehicle to actually pass the Dream Act, and we must continue to pressure members of both parties, or else we will be sold out."

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.