After turning out an unprecedented number of Latino voters for the 2012 elections, today Voces de la Frontera will join a coalition of the largest and most powerful grassroots immigrant rights groups in the country holding vigils and rallies calling for humane immigration reform from re-elected President Obama and the US Congress.
Over the last four years, over one million people in the US have been deported- destroying hundreds of thousands of families.
The groups, all members of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), are holding events nationwide in the 72 hours following the election. Leaders in the immigrant rights movement will join families affected by deportations to discuss how the record Latino voter turnout in 2012 signals a referendum in the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
In Milwaukee, Voces de la Frontera Action’s canvass targeted the wards with highest Latino voter concentration, and was a major factor in the leap in Latino voter turnout in these wards. Preliminary numbers show higher turnout in 9 wards (wards 228, 229, 231, 232, 233, 234, 236, 237, 240), resulting in a total increase in Latino voter turnout in these wards of 68% from the 2008 presidential election.
“Now is the time for bold and visionary action on federal immigration reform. The President’s move to provide relief to hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth through Deferred Action was instrumental in the remarkable Latino voter turnout that we saw last night. We are asking that in his second term the same relief be given to the many immigrant families who are being cruelly separated by our harsh deportation policies,” says Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera Action.
One such case is Jennifer Martinez, a US citizen mother of four young children who was separated from her husband because of a deportation. She said “I made sure I voted early for Obama because even though things have been hard, if Romney were elected my kids and I would not stand a chance. Jaime was a loving husband and father who never missed a day of work in ten years. I had to resort to government assistance after he was deported—the same programs Romney said he would eliminate. I am giving Obama and Congress a second chance to re-unite my family and stop tearing apart families.”
Elizabeth Sanchez, a 19 year-old Latina who voted for the first time in the presidential election says, “The reason I voted for Barack Obama and Tammy Baldwin was their platform on education and jobs. Another big part of my decision was in reaction to Romney’s ideology on immigration. My sister and her husband have been separated because of our immigration laws. I don’t understand this, and it is not right.”
WHAT: National Coalition Event–Milwaukee Vigil outside of Immigration Customs & Enforcement (ICE) Office with Wisconsin families calling on the federal government for relief following the elections
WHO: Jennifer Martinez whose husband Jaime Martinez was deported, Salvador Rojas who is facing deportation and separation from his family, and a DREAMER youth who has applied for deferred action
WHERE: 310 E. Knapp Street
WHEN: Thursday November 8th, 12 pm
Speakers will be available for press interviews before and after the event.