Voces de la Frontera: Latinxs and immigrants in Wisconsin to spark wave of economic actions nationally on Monday to win path to citizenship

No Work, No School, No Buying

(STATEWIDE – WI) – Immigrant essential workers and Latinxs in Wisconsin announced Tuesday that they will hold a statewide Day Without Latinxs and Immigrants strike and march on Indigenous People’s Day, Monday, October 11. Thousands of Wisconsin’s growing Latinx and immigrant workforce, multiracial youth and allies are expected to participate by refusing to work, go to school or make any purchases the entire day. This escalated action aims to increase economic and political pressure on President Biden, Vice President Harris and Congressional Democrats to deliver on their promise to pass a path to citizenship in the Build Back Better reconciliation budget bill this year. 

Immigrants and Latinxs in Wisconsin and Washington state will kick off the first of many anticipated economic actions across the country on October 11, with Illinois to follow on October 12, Florida on October 13 and other states later in October. 

Democrats in both the U.S. House and Senate have voted in favor of the Build Back Better reconciliation budget that includes $107 billion for citizenship for millions of essential workers, Dreamers, TPS holders and farmworkers. However, last Wednesday, September 29, the Senate Parliamentarian rejected including a path to citizenship in the reconciliation package for a second time. The Senate Parliamentarian is charged with interpreting Senate rules and her opinion is not binding. This decision comes despite multiple polls showing strong bipartisan support for creating a path to citizenship for immigrant essential workers, Dreamers, farm workers and TPS holders through reconciliation (polls hereherehere and here). Congressional Democrats, President Biden and Vice President Harris can and should choose to ignore the Parliamentarian’s decision and deliver on their promises to pass a path to citizenship for millions this year.

Voces de la Frontera hosted a virtual press conference on Tuesday, October 5 where immigrant essential workers, business owners, farmers and advocates encouraged widespread participation.  

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, said: “President Biden and Vice President Harris promised that they would pass a path to citizenship this year, and that is in danger of being lost. That’s why Voces de la Frontera is calling on tens of thousands of people to join us on another statewide general strike on Monday, October 11 at 11am.”

Eduardo Perea, an immigrant essential worker from Milwaukee who will be participating in the Day Without Latinxs and Immigrants strike, said, “I’ve lived here for over 30 years as undocumented and it’s been difficult, especially during the pandemic when I had to work longer hours and put my health and life at risk. It’s necessary to win citizenship this year because it’s time that this country recognizes us as human beings and our contributions as a workforce. Our time is now. To all my fellow immigrant essential workers watching – we can’t remain in the shadows. We have to unite and march on October 11 and demand that our rights be respected.”

Blanca Cano, an immigrant small business owner in Waukesha who will close her business on October 11th to participate in the strike, said: “I’m closing my business on October 11th because we’ve been fighting for years and it’s now or never. We need to win a path to citizenship this year so we can keep building up the economy by buying a car or a house and not worrying about the future and being deported. With a social security number immigrant small business owners like myself would be able to get a loan to grow our small business and hire more people. The opinion of the Senate Parliamentarian is wrong. She was not elected. The people elected President Biden, Vice President Harris and Democrats to Congress because we want our voices heard. If they don’t get this done this year, we won’t blame the Parliamentarian, we’ll blame them. They have the power to pass a path to citizenship this year and they need to get it done.”

John Rosenow, a dairy farmer from southwest Wisconsin who employs many immigrant farm workers, said: “About 85% of the milk produced in the state of Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland, is harvested by immigrants. They work just as hard as I do – nights, weekends and on holidays. If Latinos and immigrants stopped working for one day, it would be disastrous to the dairy industry. So, what we plan to do at my farm, and what I encourage other farmers to do as well, is to run with a skeleton crew on October 11 to make sure the cows are cared for and don’t suffer and allow the majority of my workers to participate in a Day Without Latinxs and Immigrants. We need the Democrats to live up to their word and get this done.”

The Day Without Latinxs and Immigrants on Monday, October 11 will begin at 11:00 a.m. CST with a rally at Voces’ new office located at 733 W. Historic Mitchell St, Milwaukee, WI, followed by a march to the federal courthouse downtown. For more information, including a toolkit with ways that you can support the march, go to vdlf.org/dia-sin-latinxs2021/2/