FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/22/22
(NATIONAL) – In anticipation for the upcoming, hotly contested midterm elections, at a time when recent poll numbers show President Biden hemorrhaging support from Latinx voters, immigrants and Latinx leaders from the key swing states of Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania held a press conference (recording available here) yesterday to announce a national day of action on May Day, May 1, 2022. Immigrant essential workers and families are demanding that President Biden and Congress do everything they can to protect all immigrants in this country and dismantle the cruel, xenophobic policies of past administrations.
The national day of action is being organized by the nation’s largest immigrant rights network, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), with the current number of actions totaling 39 actions across 17 states, with more and more being added as the day approaches. Specific demands include calls for President Biden to end deportations, for-profit immigrant detentions, collaboration between police and ICE, and to expand TPS protections to people already living in this country. FIRM partners are also demanding that Biden and Congress do everything they can to follow through on their promise to pass permanent protections for the 11 million currently undocumented immigrant families and workers in the United States.
“In Wisconsin, our statewide membership base voted to hold a two-day ‘Day Without Latinxs and Immigrants General Strike’ on May 1st and May 2nd,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera Action (VDLFA). “On May 1st, immigrant essential workers, families and over 30 allied organizations will march from our office in Milwaukee to Senator Ron Johnson’s office downtown, to demand he stop blocking immigration reform. On May 2nd, we plan to lobby at our state Capitol to pressure Republicans to stop blocking driver licenses and in-state tuition for immigrants. As in years past Latinx and immigrant-owned businesses have agreed to close for both days or one day to allow their workers to participate in the strike and stand in solidarity with immigrant communities.”
Jose Flores, immigrant essential worker and small business owner from Wisconsin, attended the press conference with his wife, Lola, and daughter, Leslie. They are planning to close their business for May Day to allow their workers to participate in the strike. Jose said, “We have been in this country for more than two decades and have been fighting for immigration reform since 2012. We are business owners and active members of our community. I think it’s only just that President Biden pass immigration reform, legalize essential workers and fulfill the promise he made. In the county we live in, Waukesha County, the 287g program is active, giving the sheriff’s department the authority to act as immigration agents. This has opened the door to racism, hate and fear in our community. This is very harmful, it’s like an illness that’s spreading throughout other parts of Wisconsin and President Biden must end it, as he promised.”
Esvin, an agricultural worker, coordinator at the Movement of Immigrant Leaders (MILPA) in Pennsylvania, and leader with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, said, “I’m a father, grandfather, and indigenous to this continent. I am one of the 140 million poor and low income people in this country with the same dream of living with dignity and being respected. I work to support our agricultural industry and feed this country. I’m here today to demand a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. We need permanent protections. ‘I Have A Dream’ is the name of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most famous speech in which he spoke of his desires for a future in which Black and white people could coexist harmoniously and live as equals. And today we also have this dream: that tomorrow our children and grandchildren can live on the soil of a nation that can truly be called the nation of the American Dream. That can actually become the country where the American Dream is possible, because the reality for many before and now is a land of nightmares where we have been segregated, humiliated and even enslaved. We can do better. We the workers, the poor people of this world are not the enemies. We are a great force and that’s why we are organizing for May 1st, International Workers Day. In the state of Pennsylvania there are networks of organizations preparing to take to the streets. To demand respect for the workers in this country, we are planning marches across the state of Philadelphia.”
Petra Falcon, Executive Director of Promise Arizona, said: “I’m honored to be here today with partners in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to send a message to our elected officials that it’s time that we give all workers the rights that they deserve: good wages so that they can buy homes and send their children to college. These are the people that work in essential industries, that have the jobs that nobody else wants. They work in the fields, in hotels, in construction and aren’t getting the wages that they deserve. On May 1st, we’re uplifting the voices of immigrant workers and communities united across the country to achieve our goal that all immigrant workers receive living wages and citizenship for all.”
CONTACT: Anna Dvorak, 414-469-0118, firstname.lastname@example.org
Voces de la Frontera Action (501c4) is the sister organization of Voces de la Frontera that enables us to have a more active role in lobbying and advocating for laws that improve the lives of immigrants, workers and students. VDLFA endorses candidates that stand with us in the fight for immigrant and racial justice, labor justice, and education rights.
The Movement of Immigrant Leaders in Pennsylvania (MILPA) is a non-partisan network of families working for the constitutional and human rights of every family in Pennsylvania, regardless of immigration status.
Promise Arizona aims to unite the millions of Arizonans who reject the divisive politics of immigrant-baiting, and the millions who believe in treating their neighbors with fairness and dignity.- - - - - - - - - - -