Milwaukeeans march for immigration rights

Posted at 9:46 AM, Jan 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-15 10:46:53-05

Milwaukeeans march for immigration rights


Milwaukee was one of more than 50 cities nationwide where marches were held Saturday for immigrant and refugee rights. Organizers called it the "Inauguration of the Resistance."

It comes just days before Donald Trump's inauguration as president.

Hundreds of people from all over Wisconsin marched through the streets of downtown Milwaukee.

"We are here to fight for the people who don't have a voice," says Brenda Gonzalez. 

Protestors, like Gonzalez, say they're fighting the threats that have been made against immigrants and refugees by Trump, his administration, and supporters. 

"Get to know a person before you start to judge them," Gonzalez says. "We're not here to commit crimes. We're just here to provide for our families. Every family in the U.S. has immigrant roots. America is a country of immigrants."

Their message to our local and national leaders is clear.

"Approach this with some common sense and compassion," says John Holevoet. "I think we'll all be better served for that."

Holevoet, with the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, says it's not just a social and moral issue, but an economic one.

He says the Dairy Industry generates $44 billion for Wisconsin every year, and the majority of our dairy farm workers are immigrants.

"We're very grateful to have them," Holevoet says. "We want to make sure they have a safe space where they can stay here, and work, and thrive. Our success as an industry is tied to their success."