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In Wisconsin, Advocates Have Been Busy Preparing Immigrant Families For DAPA

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Immigration advocates, Voces de la Frontera, have been working to prepare for the DAPA decision through their successful “Faces of DAPA and DACA” exhibit and May Day March for Immigrants, Students, and Workers Rights in Milwaukee.

In the next couple weeks, they have further plans to hold a community forum to prepare for DAPA and a program to train “DAPA Navigators.”  

What programs has Voces de la Frontera organized to prepare for DAPA?

Voces displayed a photo exhibit, “Faces of DAPA and DACA,” in Warehouse, a salsa night club in Milwaukee. The exhibit featured photos of immigrants in the area who would be affected by DACA and DAPA. “Faces of DAPA and DACA” is a cross-country exhibit that is put on by local advocacy groups and has also been displayed in New York and California.  

The goal of this exhibit was to help people understand that the DAPA decision is not abstract and has tangible human consequences. Voces wanted to highlight that DACA and DAPA are hugely important to the 20,000 people in Milwaukee, and 35,000 people in Wisconsin who would benefit from their implementation. The exhibit was also used to build up attention and enthusiasm for their May Day March.

On May Day, 5,000 people gathered in Milwaukee for Voces’ 10th annual May Day March for Immigrants, Students, and Workers Rights. Marchers made a list of key demands for immigrants’ and workers’ rights, one being that the Supreme Court upholds DAPA.

Many marchers held signs with messages encouraging the Supreme Court to uphold DAPA.  The march, a success for Voces in mobilizing the Latino community in Milwaukee, received local news coverage and national attention from Spanish news stations.

What future programs is Voces de la Frontera planning to prepare for DAPA?

Voces is also hard at work planning future programs to prepare Milwaukee for DAPA. On June 4th, Voces will be holding a training session to educate “DAPA Navigators,” people who will be well-versed in how DAPA works, its time line, and the application process. These “DAPA Navigators” will then be equipped to help immigrants eligible for DAPA through the application process.

Voces has also organized a community forum to prepare for DACA and DAPA and the election on June 18th. In the community forum, Voces hopes to communicate the important link between the DACA and DAPA decisions and the election in November.

What advice would Voces de la Frontera give other local groups to prepare for the SCOTUS announcement on DAPA?

“As a movement we need to inspire people to sign up for DAPA and to mobilize the vote in the November elections,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces De La Frontera.

“In these elections, all immigrant families’ and all working families’ future is at stake. We have to prepare for DAPA by helping people to sign up for the program as fast as possible once it’s available. To protect deferred action for DREAMers, parents and millions of families threatened with mass detention, deportation, and criminalization, Latinos and immigrants must mobilize the vote in November at historic numbers.

“We are strongest in moments of crisis, and If we make clear that we know what’s at stake, our communities will fight with us and we will not only secure our victories but position ourselves for further progress.”

Advocates marching against the hateful rhetoric of the GOP Presidential campaign in March. Photo via Voces’s Twitter account.

If your local group has been organizing programs to get ready for DAPA, let us know at info@americasvoice.org.