A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

Posts tagged ‘Wisconsin SB 1070’

Top 10 reasons WI does not want to copy AZ

For many of my FSPA readers it’s Chapter of Chats week! I’ll see some of you very soon.

Check out another great resource from Voces on the copy cat bill introduced by Rep. Pridemore – do not miss the link at the end that lets you sign a petition to let Rep.Pridemore know WI will not become another AZ!

1. Immigrants Deserve Our Respect, Not Our Disdain

Contrary to conservative talking points, the majority of immigrants are not criminals or welfare parasites, but rather hard-working folks who simply want to earn a living. In fact, Harvard professor Robert Sampson has found that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than other people. Undocumented immigrants also contribute more to state and local economies in taxes than they absorb in social services, including billions paid to Social Security.

2. Arizona-Style Laws Are Expensive

Since it passed SB 1070, the state of Arizona has spent over $1 million on legal defense and has paid out hundreds of thousands more to public relations firms to restore the state’s image. The Wisconsin bill’s opponents have already promised a public campaign and legal action against the bill.

3. Civil Rights Violations Will Skyrocket

Pridemore’s proposed law would require police to check the immigration status of anyone who is arrested, not just those convicted of crimes. Giving local law enforcement officials the power to threaten any undocumented immigrant they encounter with deportation is dangerous — that kind of unchecked power permits officers to threaten, coerce or manipulate any undocumented person at will. Communities across Wisconsin will surely see a disturbing uptick in civil rights violations.

4. Policing Will Suffer

Local law enforcement, already strapped for cash by the recession, will have to spend precious staff time and resources to check the immigration status of every “suspected” undocumented immigrant. That’s why Arizona law enforcement was against SB 1070. It’s also why Milwaukee Police don’t ask suspects about their immigration status — it’s a waste of time for immigration authorities. “Do you really think they’re going to come at 2 o’clock in the morning in District 7 to pick up a bricklayer who just got caught without a driver’s license and is here illegally?” says Milwaukee’s police chief.

5. Immigrants Will Be Less Likely to Report Crimes

Immigrants that are scared of being deported are less likely to tell police when they witness or are victims of crimes. Pridemore’s proposed law would reduce reporting by victims of domestic violence, theft or violent assaults.

6. Families Will Be Needlessly Divided

Under this policy, a law-abiding undocumented mother or father of citizen children could be pulled over for a broken tail-light, booked, then permanently deported within days, leaving responsibility of the children to local social service agencies. It just doesn’t make sense — the state loses a hard-working taxpayer, and children lose their parents.

Little girl holding American flag

This little girl holds an American flag at a rally in Postville, Iowa.

7. Many Citizens Can’t Prove Their Legal Status

Thirteen million people — seven percent of the U.S. population and primarily poor women — don’t currently have documents that prove they are citizens, says a study by New York University. Even more worrying are mistaken deportations like that of Mark Lyttle, a mentally ill U.S. citizen who was recently deported to Mexico.

8. Private Prisons Will Benefit, Not the Public

Private prisons stand to gain millions from laws that criminalize immigrants and cause incarceration to rise. Investigators recently uncovered that ALEC, a membership organization of state legislators and corporations, including private prison companies, played a major role in the drafting of Arizona’s SB 1070 law. Wisconsin’s new governor-elect, Scott Walker, was a member of ALEC and has supported the private prison corporate agenda for years.

9. Wisconsin Has Bigger Concerns

Like the rest of the nation, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high while local and state governments, schools and social services are facing crushing cutbacks. Wisconsin has more to worry about than immigrants who haven’t caused social or economic problems in the state.

10. No One Says Immigrants Are Bad for Wisconsin

In his announcement, Rep. Pridemore made a clumsy link between Wisconsin immigrants and “the illegal drug trade” and a host of other generic social problems. The fact is, no one has provided proof or even claimed that immigrants are to blame for any of the state’s problems. Rather than sparking a foolhardy and costly campaign to bring Arizona’s discredited law to Wisconsin, Pridemore should tackle issues that really matter to Wisconsinites.

Sign the petition and tell Representative Don Pridemore that Wisconsin Won’t Be the Next Arizona!


Photo copyright: FSPA Communications Department

Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me…

So much of civil discourse in recent years has been robbed of the importance and beauty of recognizing our powerful inter-connection to one another and to Earth. Instead we appear to be in a frenzy to point out what is different and mark those differences in alienating and unjust laws and social policy. These radical demarcations of power and privilege are then upheld as social triumphs that create safety and punish those who “deserve” it.

Nothing is more emblematic of this problem than the debate that surrounds immigration. Migrants and their families are placed in the category of criminals while punishing policies and laws masquerade as solutions that create safety and justice.

Are we in such a state of scarcity as a nation that we cannot respect the basic civil rights of people who live here? The right to education, housing, health care, work and safe passage are universal human rights that are not based in citizenship.

They are based in being human and as signers of the Universal Declarations of Human Rights we are accountable as a nation to crafting laws and policies that respect those rights. As human beings linked to one another and to Earth we are accountable for creating a world that reflects the soul deep knowledge that how we act toward one another reflects our beliefs in the sacred, in democracy, and in human dignity – and  that matters. Justice cannot flow from distortions created by fear and prejudice – it needs the wild love of inclusion.

This sign was caught on camera by FSPA at an immigration rally in Postville, Iowa.

Please consider joining with allies for immigrants across the state in the actions listed below and helping to turn the tide in “whatever we did not do…”

Emergency Action Alert: Defend Public Education, In-State Tuition Rights, and Denounce AZ Copycat Bill! 


Thursday, June 2nd in Madison


We urgently need people to come to the Capitol in Madison this Thursday, June 2nd at 12:45 PM in Room 412 (East) to protest the Joint Finance Committee vote to repeal  instate tuition rights for Wisconsin’s immigrant youth and massive cuts to public education. Walker’s budget forces taxpayers to pay for the children of wealthy families to attend  private schools while attacking the quality of education for working class families and the poor.

Come to Madison to hold legislators accountable for the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin’s children whose futures will suffer if this budget is passed!

Bus Schedule

RACINE – Bus leaves from Pick n Save, 2210 Rapids Drive at 7:30 am

MILWAUKEE – Bus leaves from Voces de la Frontera Action (1027 S. 5th St.) at 10:30 am

All buses will return in the evening.  To sign up, please call (414) 469-9206.

Thank you for standing with us to protect the educational future of all children!  Education is a right, not a privilege!

Saturday, June 4th in Milwaukee


Voces de la Frontera Action and allied organizations will be sponsoring a civil rights march and rally to condemn Governor Walker’s proposed budget which robs our children of their basic civil rights and jeopardizes the future of our communities, our city and our state.  All children have the right to schools that offer art, physical education, music, library, school nurses, a kindergarten program, school buses, and reasonable class sizes.

All children raised in WI deserve in-state tuition at public universities and technical colleges, including immigrant students!

Parents, teachers, students & community members:  Defend your children’s right to public education!

• 11am gather at MacDowell Montessori (17th & Highland)
• March across the 16th Street Bridge (James E. Groppi Unity Bridge)
• Rally outside Forest Home Elementary (1516 W Forest Home Ave)

Tuesday, June 7th in Madison


On May 23rd, Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford) announced plans to introduce an Arizona-copycat bill in Wisconsin which will undermine the state’s economy and legalize racial profiling.

Voces de la Frontera Action and Wisconsin Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (WNIRR) will host a press conference on Tuesday, June 7th at 1:00PM  at the State Capitol to protest the bill. We invite organizations to write press statements/statements and share them with Elena Lavarreda at statewideorganizer.voces@gmail.com, as well as joining us at this action.

For those that cannot attend the June 7th press conference in Madison please contact your legislator here and call Governor Walker at (608) 266-1212 to say, “We don’t want an Arizona-copycat bill in Wisconsin!”

Click here to view the current version of the Pridemore bill

For more information on these events, contact Voces de la Frontera Action at (414) 643-1620

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