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Immigrant Rights

Immigration Task Force

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Below are some actions, events and learning opportunities that support our goal of comprehensive immigration reform. In addition to national reform, our task force is working in two areas: 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, or to be added to our mailing list, please leave us a message at esther-foxvalley.org/itf.

Voices of Hope - a Reader’s Theater

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Voices of HopeVoices of Hope is a reader’s theatre presentation that brings to life the stories of immigrants living in the Fox Valley through prose, poetry and music. Due to the limitations of in-person gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the presentation is now available as a pre-recorded video for Zoom and similar online meetings of your organization. The trailer, available here, will give you a glimpse of the content and format for the presentation.

Contact the ESTHER office (920-843-8083 or office@esther-foxvalley.org) to learn more about how you can host Voices of Hope.

Directed by Kris Clouthier, the presentation is based on interviews from Peter Geniesse’s book Illegal: NAFTA Refugees Forced to Flee. It was developed by the ESTHER Immigration Task Force to help viewers identify with immigrants and understand the reasons why many endure traumatic journeys to come to America. This presentation shares the moral and legal issues associated with immigration and calls us to take a stand.

The individuals reading these stories are not the individuals from the stories; their names and locations have been changed to protect their families. The presentation offers the voices of those who live in the shadows, who cannot speak for themselves, yet live with hope to get out of the shadows and pursue their American dreams.

Walk in our Shoes

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Walk In Our Shoes Logo

Walk In Our Shoes: Understanding the Latino Experience

The Walk In Our Shoes Latino simulation experience is designed to help participants understand what it’s like to live as a Latino in our community. It is a simulation, not a game. The object is to focus and sensitize participants to the realities faced by area Latinos.  In the simulation, up to 52 participants assume the roles of up to 26 Latino individuals.  The experience lasts from two to three hours. It includes an introduction and briefing, the actual simulation exercise, and a debriefing period in which participants and volunteer staffers share their reactions and experiences.

Look Into Her Eyes

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This post was contributed by Connie Raether.

Look into the eyes of a mother…who faces the agonizing decision of choosing between her children.  One, who made the difficult decision to leave his homeland, Mexico, in search of an escape from poverty.  The others, who chose to stay and try to eke out a living in a country whose poverty rate escalates, as does the cost of living, due to their policies, and ours.  Either decision she makes, she loses a child. 

In this case, she chose to come to America, facing the untold terrors of crossing a border and coming to a strange and often unfriendly land.  She joins her son and struggles everyday to make a living and send money back to her family.  She has not seen her beloved son and daughter for years; she does not dare return to Mexico and they, like most Mexicans, cannot get a visa even to visit her here.  She does not see her children, her mother or her brothers, and knows that she may not see them, ever again.

I’ve looked into her eyes and, as a mother, felt her grief as she celebrated Mother’s Day.  When you look into her eyes, thank whatever higher power you believe in that you were fortunate enough to be born here, where you don’t have to make decisions that break your heart, and realize that it is indeed only fortune that separates you from her.  Look into her eyes when you think about how we will solve the issue of immigration.  I hope you can feel compassion for her and urge our politicians to make just and fair decisions as they ponder this issue; decisions that will no longer tear families apart but allow paths to citizenship for those already here and opportunities for their loved ones to join them.

 

ESTHER Immigration Task Force

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Date: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Date: 
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Date: 
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Date: 
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Meeting

This task force works to address issues related to immigration, specifically those affecting the Latino/a population in the Valley. In addition to national comprehensive immigration reform, our task force is working locally 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. Casa Esther, a Catholic Worker House in Omro and ESTHER member faith community, is looking to be an outreach center for Latinos in the Oshkosh/Omro area.

For a link to the Zoom meeting, or to be added to the mailing list, please leave us a message at esther-foxvalley.org/itf

Rally: Citizenship for Essential Workers and Families

Date: 
Sunday, April 18, 2021 - 3:00pm
Location: 
Brown County Court House, 100 S Jefferson St, Green Bay

Join Voces de la Frontera Essential Workers Rights Network in Green Bay for a press conference and rally to demand citizenship for all in the forthcoming COVID-19 reconciliation budget bill! Now is the time to make noise and demand that our congressional representatibes vote to legalize essential workers - because they are essential, not deportable.

This event is part of a statewide caravan and relay across America demanding to a stop to deportations, COVID recovery for all, and citizenship for all.

Sponsored by Casa Esther, ESTHER and Voces de la Frontera Action.

Download and share the attached flier.

Help Casa Esther Continue Supporting Immigrants and Their Families

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Federal and Wisconsin government distribution of funds during the pandemic—in the form of stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and other assistance—has provided a financial lifeline for many, but not all, who are being hit hard by COVID-19.

One group of people need such assistance desperately but are not eligible for Federal or state COVID-19 help. These immigrants live in our communities, contribute to the economy, and pay taxes. Many are front-line, essential workers on dairy farms, in meat-packing plants and cheese factories, in restaurants and cleaning services, in non-profits and small businesses throughout the Fox Valley.

There’s a way you can help.

A Seat at the Table of Power

This post was submitted by Penny Robinson

ESTHER encourages an African American to apply for appointment to the Grand Chute Police and Fire Commission

Background of racist social-media posts by police officer

Last summer ESTHER Organizer Bill Van Lopik was informed that Grand Chute Police Officer Laluzerne had posted racist comments on social media. Most of the posts were from high school, but a more recent one referred to Boogaloo, a white supremacist movement.

After connecting with a Black Lives Matter group, Bill and others from ESTHER joined a protest, at which Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson agreed to meet with ESTHER President Gary Crevier. News surfaced that the department was conducting a thorough investigation of Laluzerne. Some wondered if an outside, unbiased individual or group should conduct such investigations. The officer was thoroughly questioned and “put on notice,” but was not disciplined or fired.1

ESTHER Immigration Task Force

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Date: 
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Date: 
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Date: 
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Date: 
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Meeting

This task force works to address issues related to immigration, specifically those affecting the Latino/a population in the Valley. In addition to national comprehensive immigration reform, our task force is working locally 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. Casa Esther, a Catholic Worker House in Omro and ESTHER member faith community, is looking to be an outreach center for Latinos in the Oshkosh/Omro area.

For a link to the Zoom meeting, or to be added to the mailing list, please leave us a message at esther-foxvalley.org/itf

Summer of Solidarity: Immigrant Detention Centers

Date: 
Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

These are weekly Zoom meetings sponsored by WISDOM and EXPO covering community-organizing approaches and social justice topics of concern in the state and region during the summer of 2020.

In WISDOM, we have been bringing attention to the fact that there are many, many men and women who ought not be in our jails and prisons, especially in the time of a global pandemic. This coming Saturday, we will be looking at another group of our brothers and sisters who ought not be in cages in the first place, but who are at special risk for COVID-19. And, we will learn how we in Wisconsin have a special responsibility for them.

To register for this session, click here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcrcu-hrz8tE9OXjy5VZKEnNaEcFf3Insq2

After registering, you will receive a link to use when joining the meeting on Saturday morning.

This past Saturday's Summer of Solidarity program, about Racism in Suburban Schools, was attended by more than 100 people.  Let's keep that momentum going.  We will be free when all of us are free.

Tentative schedule of future topics:

  • July 11 – Transportation
  • July 18 – Housing for Women Returning from Incarceration
  • July 25 – Voting and Voting Rights
  • August 1 – Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women
  • August 8 – Crimeless Revocations
  • August 15 – Policing
  • August 22 – Environmental Justice

If you would like to participate in any of these, contact WISDOM (wisdomforjustice@gmail.com) for information about registering for the Zoom presentation.

Presentations are being recorded, and will be available at: https://www.rocwisconsin.org/summer-of-solidarity-training-series/

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