The Workers’ Rights Center (WRC) has been awarded a grant of $15,000 from the Madison Community Foundation to update the Latino Workers Project Report.
Fifteen years ago, the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice initiated the Latino Workers Project (LWP) to study the rapidly growing Latino population in Dane County and address challenges faced by low-income Latino immigrants. The LWP released Can’t Afford to Lose a Bad Job, which documented the socio-economic and labor conditions of the Latino community and provided recommendations to address pressing issues. Latinos faced unique challenges because of issues of immigration status, racism, lack of knowledge/comfort navigating public agencies & limited English proficiency. The WRC was founded as a recommendation of the LWP with seed money from the Madison Community Foundation.
Milwaukee was one of 10 cities nationwide where immigrants and advocates protested the "border surge" in the U.S. Senate's immigration reform bill, thanks to WNPJ member groups Voces de la Frontera and Peace Action.
A last-minute amendment added a $47 billion “border surge” that would create one of the most costly and militarized border zones in the world over the next 10 years. The measure would add "20,000 border patrol agents to the more than 21,000 currently deployed, adding 700 more miles of border wall and adding 18 drones to patrol the border," reports NBC Latino.
On July 3, the city of Joliet, Illinois announced that the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is withdrawing its plans to build a for-profit immigration detention center in that city.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights applauded the news as "a victory for the many local residents of Joliet and surrounding communities who took strong leadership to oppose the for-profit jail. The Concerned Citizens of Joliet made their voices heard at city council meetings, educated their neighbors, built alliances, and registered and turned out voters in the April elections. These efforts crossed ethnic and racial lines and showed that Joliet’s diverse communities will unite against the common enemy of mass incarceration devastating their neighborhoods."
WNPJ member groups the Wisconsin Council of Churches and Voces de la Frontera, along with WISDOM, a congregation-based social justice network, expressed strong support for comprehensive immigration reform. "Throughout our state’s history, Wisconsin’s faith communities have been blessed and enriched by immigrants, whether they arrived from Europe before statehood or more recently from Latin America, Southeast Asia, or elsewhere," stated the groups.
Arizona-based grassroots group Derechos Humanos (colleagues of WNPJ Board member Karma Chavez) has a detailed critique of the proposed Senate immigration reform bill.
"The purported 'path to citizenship' is a cruel misrepresentation that has brought out both the anti-immigrant voices to cry out that 11 million 'should not receive citizenship,' and the immigrant community to believe that a fair process for their legalization will be put in place. Neither is a reality," the group states.
"As we tout the importance of family, this bill changes this priority by removing two preference categories from the family-based immigration process ... as well as creating 'merit' based visas and repealing the Diversity Visa Program, an important avenue for African and Caribbean immigrants. Importantly, the bill provides no avenue for LBGTQ families to reunite."
A Dane County circuit court judge has issued a permanent injunction blocking Wisconsin's voter ID law, ruling that it creates a “substantial impairment of the right to vote” guaranteed by the state Constitution. The court ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by the NAACP and WNPJ member group Voces de la Frontera. The injunction means that the law, which would have required a state-issued photo ID from all voters, will not be in effect for the November election, although Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has said he intends to appeal the decision.
|Immigrant-rights activists in Florida and around the country are celebrating a victory over Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest and most powerful for-profit prison operator in the country.|
CCA had already begun construction on a 500,000 square foot immigration detention facility in the south Florida community of Southwest Ranches when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced they would be cancelling plans to use the facility.