Amidst growing pushback against the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, more than ten thousand people marched in Milwaukee on Monday to “resist the wave of deportations and immigration raids sweeping the country.”
The “Day Without Latinxs, Immigrants, and Refugees” action, organized by local advocacy group Voces de la Frontera, targets Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, whom the group says has signaled his intention to take part in a controversial federal program, 287(g). It would allow for Clarke’s deputies to act as ICE agents.
Many immigrant rights and civil liberties groups are opposed to the program, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which says 287(g) “has led to illegal racial profiling and civil rights abuses while diverting scarce resources from traditional local law enforcement functions and distorting immigration enforcement priorities.” President Donald Trump, for his part, has called the program “good” and vowed to “expand and revitalize” it.
People from dozens of cities across Wisconsin came by bus to take part in the action, and Voces de la Frontera says that 120 businesses were also closed to show support for the #daywithoutlatinos.
The group marched to the Milwaukee County Courthouse.
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“My husband was deported,” said Jennifer Estrada, a community leader in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in a press statement ahead of the action. “I know what that feels like and the impact it had on my children.”
“Immigrants are the backbone to the dairy industry in my area and without them, the economy would get worse for all of us. People should not be afraid of law enforcement, they should not live under the threat of their families being torn apart. I am proudly marching on Monday to say no to Sheriff Clarke’s plan to enroll in 287g,” she continued.
“If it starts in Milwaukee, it will spread to other counties,” Estrada added.