WAUKESHA, WI - Arriving by the busload outside Weldall Manufacturing in Waukesha, hundreds of people rallied to convince Governor Scott Walker to formally oppose 287(g) and bill AB190 while also committing to increasing the state's minimum wage.
“We need to hear him say that he’s going to veto it," Christine Neumann-Ortiz said. "We also need him to stand up against the politics of hate."
Christine Neumann-Ortiz is the founding Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera and helped organize the rally. She considers the pending 287(g) program a threat to both Milwaukee County and Waukesha County. According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the program is one of ICE's top partnership initiatives as it allows a state or local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.
"These are discredited programs that hurt the community, create fear, hurt us economically, and break up families, Neumann-Ortiz said. "They bring nothing good to Wisconsin."
In effect, the Republican-sponsored AB190 "sanctuary cities" bill would block ordinances and policies that do not enforce federal or state laws relating to undocumented citizens. However, those against the bill say it urges local law enforcement officers to act as federal agents forcing many families to live in fear.
“People are going to be afraid to report any crimes," Angelica Elizalde said.
"And they’re not going to feel welcomed and wanted in here," she continued.
The group gathered just steps away from where the governor announced his re-election bid for a third term. Many of the demonstrators said they plan to hold the governor accountable for promises he’s made in the past including a commitment to higher paying jobs some consider a dream that has not yet been realized in the state.
“If I have to be out here in the cold that’s what I’m going to do," Uniqua Gordon said. "I’ve been doing it, it’s hope."