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Immigrant Rights

Immigration Task Force:

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Below are some actions and events that move us toward our goal of comprehensive immigration reform.  In addition to national reform, our task force is working in two areas: the allowance for Wisconsin state driver's certificates for resident undocumented workers and in-state tuition rates for all residents of Wisconsin meeting the academic guidelines for acceptance into our state's public universities, colleges and technical schools.  Unless otherwise noted, events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Nancy Bourassa.

Let the games continue!

With help from ESTHER, a group of Latino soccer players is at last able to use public soccer fields and other facilities at Wittman Park in the Town of Menasha without being subjected to harrassment and racial slurs, and without indifference from Town officials. Gustavo Nunez, one of the players who took a lead role in seeking a resolution to the issue, stated, “We want to thank you and all of the people you worked to figure this situation out with us. After many years of playing with the fear of harassment and removal from the fields, we can finally say that we have been playing in peace this last month and since the beginning of your help.” ESTHER is proud to have worked with these courageous players to ensure that their voice was heard. Together we are encouraged by our collective action to make the community, particularly our public parks, more welcoming to all.

Immigration Changes Offer Hope

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We are thankful for the first steps taken by our President to address the broken immigration system. Many families will remain united and find relief from some of their suffering, including those in the Fox Valley, as a result of this policy change.

While many have been discouraged by Congress's failure to act, we find hope in the courageous action taken by President Obama.

Comprehensive reform is still needed, and we continue to look to Congress to bring forward a solution, which a majority of Americans continue to call for.

Watch an except from the announcement here.

Latino Simulation, Martin Luther King Day, Saint Norbert College

On January 20, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, Saint Norbert College hosted a presentation of “In Our Shoes,” the Latino Similation developed by ESTHER with support from ThedaCare’s Community Health Action Team. More than 50 people took part in the experience. Click below to see what happened.

Video of MLK Day Latino Simulation at Saint Norbert College

A big “Thank You!” to the College for hosting the simulation, and to its Communications Office for producing the video and allowing us to share it with you.

Latino Simulations Kick Off in the Fox Valley

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The Walk In Our Shoes Latino simulation experience is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live as a typical Latino in our community. It is a simulation, not a game. The object is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by area Latinos.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Registration is required; see below about how to RSVP.

This simulation was developed through the support and efforts of ThedaCare’s Community Health Action Team (CHAT), ESTHER, and dedicated individuals in our community.

RSVPs are required in advance.  To ensure your spot in the simulation, please send your name and the date you plan to attend to

Thursday, November 21st, 6:00-9:00 pm
St. Therese Catholic Church
213 E. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton

To download a flyer, CLICK HERE!

Latino Simulation Ready For Prime Time

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ShoesOur Latino simulation, Walk in Our Shoes: Understanding the Latino Experience, is now ready for prime time! The three-hour simulation gives participants an opportunity to learn first-hand about the problems and obstacles faced by Latino immigrants in our community—problems like getting jobs, entering school or obtaining health care. Participants in the trial run of the simulation in July found it a very moving and educational experience. Now you can schedule the simulation for your organization.  To do so, contact Penny Robinson at

Contact Congressmen Ribble and Petri about Immigration Reform

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Rep. Thomas PetriRep. Reid RibbleThis has been an exciting year in the fight for immigration reform. After years of effort, a reform bill has passed the Senate and is awaiting action by the House. Even so, any hope of reform this year depends on persuading our representatives to support it.

Representatives Reid Ribble and Thomas Petri have indicated that they may support reform, but in order to do so, they need to see more support for it in their districts. Now is the time to take action and build momentum for a vote after the House’s August break.

Immigration Reform: Let’s Make It Happen

Latina mother holding childESTHER’s immigration task force has been calling for several years for immigration policy that is consistent with our faith values, keeps families together, provides a pathway to citizenship for immigrants already here, and expands legal avenues for workers to enter the U.S. Now that an immigration reform bill has been introduced in the Senate, it’s time to get behind the effort to pass it and then to implement it in a humane way. Humane immigration reform has many enemies, and this is no time for us to be complacent.

Click here to fill out a postcard to be sent to your member of Congress.

Read More (below) to learn how you can help.

Walk in Their Shoes--Latino Simulation Passes First Test

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FootprintsThe first trial run of ESTHER’s Latino Simulation, held on May 22, was a great success, with about 50 people participating. The goal of the simulation is to foster community awareness about the challenges Latinos face in our community. What was learned in this first trial run will help in fine-tuning the simulation before its public release later in the summer. If your group would like to schedule a simulation, contact Penny at

Walk in Our Shoes: Latino Simulation Coming this Fall

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footprintsThe Fox Valley’s 20,000 Latinos live among us, but we do not really know them. As our ancestors did, they have come to make a better life for themselves and their children. But their efforts are complicated by a restrictive and politicized immigration system. ESTHER’s up-coming Latino Simulation will give participants a chance to deepen their understanding of the problems that our Latino neighbors face: finding jobs and transportation, obtaining health care, keeping their documentation up-to-date or living without it, and trying to understand a strange language and culture.


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