Today in Wisconsin: Massive Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants Underway to Restore Driver Licenses for All

Today, thousands are expected to strike, close businesses, take their kids from school and rally at 11am at the Capitol in Madison

Over 175 businesses have announced that they will close (list here)


Who: Voces de la Frontera, Youth Empowered in the Struggle, immigrant workers and families, teachers, students, business leaders, religious leaders, law enforcement leaders, unions, more

What: Wisconsin May 1st Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants to Restore Driver Licenses for All

When: Wednesday, May 1st. Rally begins at 11am

Where: Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, WI. Rally program will happen on the steps outside the State Street entrance.

Local coverage opportunities: Buses leaving from 17 cities across the state; times and locations here; local media is encouraged to interview people at departure sites

Rally Speakers in Madison: 
  • Omar Guerrero, co-owner of Drake Dairy
  • Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway
  • Madison Chief of Police Mike Koval
  • Amy Mizialko, President of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association
  • Eduardo Perea, Voces de la Frontera member from Milwaukee
  • Luís Tapia, Yesica Ramirez, and Robert Lawson, high school students and Youth Empowered in the Struggle members from Racine 
  • Rabbi Bonnie Margulis of Dane Sanctuary Coalition
  • Karen Coller, Executive Director of Centro Hispano Dane County
  • Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, and more


MADISON, WISCONSIN – On Wednesday, May 1st, Voces de la Frontera and a coalition of dozens of community organizations and unions will hold a Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants statewide general strike and mobilization on the Capitol in Madison to urge the state legislature to restore access to driver licenses for all in Wisconsin regardless of immigration status. Over 175 businesses have announced that they will close (list here), and community members are expected to come to Madison from dozens of cities across the state to rally at the Capitol at 11 am (list of buses here).

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has included measures to restore driver licenses for immigrant Wisconsinites in his 2019-2021 state budget proposal, and the Dairy Business Association as well as leaders from both parties have spoken outin support. Wisconsinites could obtain driver licenses regardless of immigration status until 2007, when a law passed by the legislature the previous year to take licenses away from immigrants without a Social Security Number went into effect. 

May 1st is a national day of action for immigrant and worker rights. Marches are expected in at least ten cities nationwide to resist the Trump Administration’s attacks on immigrant and refugee families and to demand policies that stop deportations and keep families together. Movimiento Cosecha has organized Day Without Immigrant actions in New Jersey, Indiana, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Michigan to urge those states to restore access to driver licenses for immigrants and provide countywide protections as part of their #ManejandoSinMiedo campaign. 

“Under the Trump Administration, a simple driving without a license infraction has been one of the primary ways that ICE has targeted people,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “In the absence of immigration reform, as the state of Wisconsin, we need to step up and honor immigrant families and restore their right to drive, so people can have identification when they engage with law enforcement and others, drive legally, have access to good insurance, and not live in fear of being separated from their families and communities. May 1st will be a day of solidarity for people of all backgrounds to stand for a welcoming and inclusive Wisconsin.”

Organizational cosponsors of Wisconsin’s May 1st Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants to restore driver licenses in Wisconsin include Kids Forward, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, Madison Teachers Inc., Wisconsin Education Association Council, United Community Center, Hmong American Women’s Association, Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, Latino Consortium for Action, Freedom Inc., American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, AFT Local 212, United Faculty and Academic Staff/AFT Local 223, Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, United Steelworkers District 2, United Auto Workers (UAW) Southeast Wisconsin, Laborers Local 113, Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, Human Rights Campaign, United Food and Commercial Workers, UAW Local 469, Fight for $15 Wisconsin, Carpenters Local 264, UAW Local 1866, United Electrical Workers Western Region, IBEW Local 2304, the Capuchin Province of St.Joseph, and Milwaukee Turners.

Follow Voces de la Frontera on Twitter at @voces_milwaukee and on Facebook.