On this week’s episode of our podcast “A is for America”, we spoke with Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This week, Voces de la Frontera Action won a major victory with the election of Earnell Lucas, Milwaukee’s new sheriff, who stood against the anti-immigrant enforcement practices of former sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. and his heir apparent Richard Schmidt. Voces Action and other groups worked to elect Lucas and defeat Schmidt through tireless canvassing, phone banking, and mobilizing efforts. As a result of Tuesday’s win, communities in Milwaukee will be safer as local police decrease cooperation with ICE in the separation of families. (Interview begins at 14:50. You can follow Voces de la Frontera here and here, contribute here, and sign their petition to #FreeFranco here.)
The most updated numbers in family separations have been released, and 565 children (including 24 under the age of 5) are still separated from their parents. Almost two dozen members of Congress have asked DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign, and an ad appeared in Washington state this week asking Rep. Catherine McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) to hold the Trump Administration accountable for their zero tolerance policy. Stephen Miller has taken over the U.S. refugee program, and his uncle took to Politico to blast Miller for pushing policies that — had they been in place — would have led to the destruction of their family before their arrival in America.
Lee Francis Cissna, the head of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, spoke in front of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a hate group this week, while immigration lawyer Hassan Ahmad sued the University of Michigan for the release of white nationalist John Tanton’s papers. Tanton founded CIS and other hate groups, which means that Tanton’s beliefs and writings have a direct effect on the Trump Administration and immigration policy today. Meanwhile, advocates are requesting that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton withdraw his request for an injunction against DACA, after a settlement that has stopped the restarting of DACA for new applicants for now.
“A is for America” is a podcast which tells stories from the front lines of a changing America. Each week, we’ll be talking to advocates and experts working in immigration reform, immigrants’ rights, immigration politics, and the forefront of what it means to be a new American. Tune in next week for more.