FIRM Spotlight: Voces de la Frontera - 700 Lobby State Capitol
With the call for immigration reform and immigrant rights gaining momentum, its really encouraging to see the great work being done at the state and local level by community organizations. In Wisconsin, a battle has been raging over drivers license laws and in-state tuition for undocumented students. Our friends at Voces de la Frontera are on the frontlines, fighting the good fight. Check out Voces' video about the DREAM act for tuition for undocumented students below.
[youtube = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iiXHaDk63o&feature=player_embedded]
From our partners at Voces de la Frontera in Wisconsin:
With chants of , "Sí se puede" and "Yes we can", nearly 700 Wisconsinites filled the State Capitol on March 18, 2009 to show their support of drivers' license certificates for immigrants and in-state tuition rates for immigrant youth who graduate from Wisconsin high schools.
The event was organized by the Voces de la Frontera and its youth chapter, Students United for Immigrant Rights and the Coalition for Safe Roads, a diverse grassroots coalition that includes Wisconsin dairy farmers, religious and community leaders, teachers and youth.
Coalition members met with their elected officials and provided testimony at a public hearing with members from the Joint Finance Committee. Groups came from Green Bay, Whitewater, Kenosha, Racine, Wautoma, Madison and Milwaukee.
Speaking in support of the in-state tuition, an impassioned teacher from Milwaukee said, "I tell all my students, ' dream, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to it'. Please don't make me lie to these kids. "
Carl Klessig, a dairy farmer from Manitowoc, stated that, "immigrant workers are hard working and family oriented. They are an important part of Wisconsin's economy."
Under the Real ID Act, states can provide a drivers' certificate to individuals without a social security number as long as it is not used as a form of federal identification. The Coalition advocates for this measure to ensure public safety for everyone on Wisconsin roads.