Friday, October 10, 2008

Political Group Formed To Advocate For Immigrant’s Rights

Political Group Formed To Advocate For Immigrant’s Rights

Salas to head newly formed advocacy group along with Torres, and Neumann-Ortiz

By H. Nelson Goodson
El Conquistador Newspaper
3206 W. National Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215
September 19, 2008

Milwaukee- A political group called Voces de la Frontera Action C-4 (VDLFActionC4) held their first fund-raising event in the south side. VDLFActionC4, is the newly formed advocacy arm of Voces de la Frontera. It will be a first for the new organization, a separate entity from Voces de la Frontera, which has more freedom under tax laws to take an active role in lobbying, as well as being able to endorse candidates that best support immigrant rights.
Voces de la Frontera Action is a 501C-4 organization with a mission to fight for the rights of low-wage and immigrant workers, according to its mission statement at the $50.00 event held at the United Community Center on Monday night. The group is spearheaded by Primitivo Torres, Jesus Salas, and Christine Neumann-Ortiz. Neumann-Ortiz proudly said at the event that “VDLFActionC4 brought more than 170 voters to the polls which helped re-elect state Representative Pedro Colón.”
VDLFActionC4 endorsed State Representative Pedro Colón (WI-Dem.), U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-Dem.), for re-election in the Primary September 9th election, and U.S. Senator Barack Obama (IL-Dem.) for President in the November Presidential election. Colón won re-election in the 8th Assembly District by more than 50%, easily defeating challengers Laura Manriquez, and Jose Guzman.
Torres is a current Board member of Voces de la Frontera a non-profit organization, and has been involved in the last two previous years consecutive immigrant marches that have drawn more than 200,000 people from throughout Wisconsin advocating for a fair comprehensive immigration reform bill. Salas is well known for his late 1960’s and early 1970’s leadership role in the takeover of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
In 1970, Salas led the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) takeover of the UWM chancellor’s office and campus. On August 27, 1970, Salas along with Marla O. Anderson, Gregorio (Goyo) Rivera, José Luis Huerta-Sánchez, and Dante Navarro were arrested for trying to change the discriminatory policy that kept thousands of Hispanics from getting a college degree. Salas and about 500 educational demonstrators succeeded in the takeover and now thousands of Latinos in Wisconsin have graduated from the UW system. It also open the door of education in public and private colleges throughout the state for minorities such as Afro-Americans, Native Americans, Asians, low income White students, and students of Arabic descent. They remain open today! Salas was one of 12 Latino students enrolled at UWM in 1970 compared to 25,000 White students attending the university.
Salas was appointed to the Board of Regent of the University of Wisconsin System by Governor Jim Doyle in 2003. But Salas resigned as a regent in protest in November of 2007. In resigning Salas cited Gov. Doyle’s failure to support in-state tuition status for children of undocumented immigrants, even though, their families are paying state taxes just like everyone else. Salas also cited a lack of support and previous policies that were implemented to hurt Hispanics, low income children, and banning driver licenses for undocumented immigrants by Governor Doyle. However, Salas as a regent is credited for passing a UW policy that would consider undocumented students residing in Wisconsin to be considered for in-state tuition when applying in the UW System.
Neumann-Ortiz is the founding Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera a non-profit organization, which is the primary advocacy group including a low-wage and immigrant workers center with chapters in Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin, including a student chapter called Students United for Immigrant Rights with members from 3 high schools. Voces de la Frontera is increasingly recognized as Wisconsin’s leading voice for immigration reform.
Voces de la Frontera Action C-4 will be solely funded by individual contributions to help fund and promote a fair comprehensive immigration reform bill, and immigrant rights. Contributions to Voces de la Frontera Action are not tax-deductible, according to Neumann-Ortiz.

No comments: