Outside of Trump Media Circus Latino Power Builds Across the Country
Donald Trump battles the Pope. Marco Rubio promises to take protections away from Dreamers on Day One. Ted Cruz tries to outdo Trump’s nativism. Hillary Clinton promises immigration reform bill introduction in the first 100 days. So, what’s the most important story of the week?
For us, it’s what happened in Wisconsin yesterday. That’s right. Yesterday, nearly 14,000 Latinos from across the state walked out of their jobs and schools to protest anti-immigrant legislation before the state legislature. The bills in question targeted so called “sanctuary cities” and restricted local governments from issuing local photo IDs for people who were unable to obtain state identification. Called a “Day Without Latinos” and organized by a coalition led by Voces de la Frontera, businesses across Wisconsin closed their doors for the day or paid employees who missed work to attend.
Per a Fusion article on the event:
Part of the reason the state’s “Day Without Latinos” is so important is because it will “let people know how much Latinos contribute to this state,” said Luz Sosa, a University professor at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, and organizer with Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a progressive activist group.
“We’re not going to stand by and be discriminated against and have our rights trampled on,” she told Fusion while en route to the capitol building from Milwaukee.
Why is this so important? While Wisconsin isn’t traditionally associated with immigration politics or known for its Latino population, it is an important swing state in the general election and this year will have a competitive race that could determine which party controls the Senate. What happened yesterday in Wisconsin showcases the new and changing American electorate, in places where growing Latino clout is too often overlooked.
Said Frank Sharry, the Executive Director of America’s Voice, “A big question in the past nine months has been this: will the Latino electorate in America respond to the rise of Trump? Will its potential be realized in a way that will continue to shape the future of American politics? A powerful answer came from Wisconsin yesterday. The community will continue to organize, mobilize and speak truth to power to ensure that the quest for equality and dignity is won. The media world may be mesmerized by the GOP primaries and may have accepted nativism as the new normal in the contest for the Republican nomination. But for those of us working towards fundamental changes in how policies affect a diversifying America, we believe what happened in Wisconsin yesterday will turn out to be a far more important harbinger of what will unfold in 2016 and beyond than the latest contretemps from the campaign trail. A huge shout-out to our colleagues in Wisconsin for showing what building power is really about.”