Following an afternoon rally in which immigrant families from Wisconsin shared stories of separation and deportation and called on Senator Ron Johnson to support the federal immigration reform bill now headed to the US Senate, 18 US citizen allies of undocumented immigrants organized a peaceful civil disobedience action on the corner of Wisconsin Ave and Jefferson Ave.
Participants said they were risking arrest to act acting in solidarity with the 11 million undocumented people in the United States.
Francisca Meraz, a US citizen and college honors student in Milwaukee said:
“I come from a large family, and like myself, 36 of my cousins are US citizens. I am taking action today in support of family unity because our broken immigration system does not only hurt the undocumented community, but also threatens the happiness and well being of US citizens like myself and my cousins. Nine of my aunts and uncles are undocumented.
This means that 22 of my cousins, most of which are still minors and many of which are still toddlers, are in danger of losing one or both parents every single day that ICE continues to deport 1,100 people.
I am so tired of seeing my cousins cry when they get married because their mother or father could not be there, or when they see their mom or dad for the first time in years via Skype. Even worse, when I see their eyes light up with joy at the news of immigration reform, I am angry at the possibility that it will not provide a meaningful path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people in this country.
I need a path to citizenship for my family, and that is what I am calling on the President to end the record number of deportations happening under his administration, and calling on Senator Johnson to help keep our families together by supporting legalization that is not contingent on enforcement.”
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