Bills demonstrate how mean-spirited GOP is when it comes to immigrantsThousands of immigrants rights advocates plan to protest in Madison today in what’s being called the “Day without Latinos.”
The protests are meant to give Wisconsinites across the state a chance to recognize the important role that immigrants play in our state and our economy.
As Wisconsin Public Radio reports, farms across the state will feel the brunt of their importance, noting that “Latino immigrants make up more than 40 percent of the hired help on state dairy farms.” Cities across the state will also feel their impact, as several restaurants and other service industry jobs rely heavily on immigrant labor.
The protests are against two bills in the state legislature that are likely to hit Gov. Scott Walker’s desk.
One of the bills in question passed both the state Assembly and Senate Tuesday despite facing strong opposition from both immigrants and local officials in Madison and Milwaukee. It bars cities from creating local photo ID cards that immigrants can use when interacting with law enforcement. The Assembly also passed another bill that bars local governments from adopting ordinances that prevent police or other local officials from asking crime suspects about immigration status. The Senate is scheduled to take that bill up in March.Emphases in bold added.
|Protesters in front of |
Nuestro Mundo School
on Thursday morning
The bills also infringe upon local municipality rights and local control, a cornerstone of what it used to mean to be a Republican.
But more importantly, these types of laws are indicative of how Republicans feel about immigrants overall (whether we’re dealing with Republicans in the state or nationally). The GOP sends a clear message of disrespect for our state’s immigrant community with these bills, loud enough to be heard from Madison to Manitowoc -- that immigrants aren’t welcome here.
These protests are meant to counter that sentiment. I’m not an immigrant, I’m not Latino, but I do support immigrants who choose to make Wisconsin their home. These bills are not what this state is about -- and I am hopeful that these bills, if they do become law, will one day be repealed by a more open and more generous state legislature and governor.
UPDATE (11:05 AM): Per WKOW's Greg Neumann on Twitter, apparently Speaker Robin Vos is afraid of Latinos?
"I understand why Democratic activists are using this to fear monger - it serves into their own purposes" @SpeakerVos on #daywithoutlatinos— Greg Neumann (@gneumann_wkow) February 18, 2016