Neumann-Ortiz: “We want Wisconsin to be more welcoming”

Photo by Joe Brusky/MTEA

MILWAUKEE – The immigration advocacy group Voces de la Frontera (“Voces”) held a press conference Wednesday at the state capitol. The conference was led by Voces’ executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz and highlighted several reasons why Voces is organizing a statewide march on May 1.

The group opposed President Trump’s executive order on immigration, called on Gov. Walker to fire Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, denounced the state’s anti-sanctuary bill, and advocated driver’s cards for immigrants, legislation introduced by Milwaukee Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa.

“We aren’t just marching on a national level against Trump’s unconstitutional and racist executive orders, but we are also here to meet with state elected officials,” Neumann-Ortiz said.

Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, Christine Neumann-Ortiz.

“We need to not only reject these anti-immigrant measures which are only benefiting the private prison industry, we need to move forward with good legislation. Good legislation that recognizes the positive economic contributions and goods made to our economy. We want Wisconsin to be more welcoming,” she said during the press conference.

After the press conference, Neumann-Ortiz and others from Voces delivered a petition signed by more than 10,000 people, calling on Gov. Walker to use his legal right and fire Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. Organizers marched through the capitol building chanting “Walker, escucha, estamos en la lucha!” which translates to “Walker, listen, we’re in the fight/struggle.”

The Governor has continually said that removing Clarke from office is up to the voters in Milwaukee County. Even with serious allegations pointing to the negligence of the Sheriff’s staff in the death inmate, Terrill Thomas, who was denied water for 7 days prior to his death in a Milwaukee County jail last April.

Today, Gov. Walker told reporters at the Associated Presshe need a more “scientific report” about the death of Thomas and three other inmates who died in jails that Clarke is responsible for.