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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.

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
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Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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Tuesday, December 14, 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/

National Prayer Vigil for All Immigrants

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Date: 
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

Civil Rights of Immigrants
Prayer Vigil and Call to Action

The vigil will include story-telling and a candle-lighting ceremony designed to deepen our reflection as we pray for:

  • Immigrants being held in Immigrant Detention Centers across the country, vulnerable to infection from the coronavirus.
  • Immigrants on the front lines serving as essential workers during the pandemic who are keeping us fed, saving lives, and keeping the economy running.
  • The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and DACA-mented young people who are awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision in June on the fate of DACA.

Northeast Wisconsin participants include José Lozano, Terry Dawson, Nancy Bourassa, and Fr. Joseph Mattern.

Participants will also be prepped to take action following the vigil by reaching out to decision-makers in their communities and states, as well as to their Members of Congress and the Secretary of Homeland Security, calling on them to end detentions and protect vulnerable immigrants.

To join via Zoom, you must register in advance for this meeting. Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

To join via Facebook Live, go to the Gamaliel Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gamalielnetwork.

Sponsored by Gamaliel Civil Rights of Immigrants Campaign

Help spread the word. Download and share the attached flier.

Help Casa Esther Support Immigrants and Their Families

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The Federal government’s distribution of funds under the C.A.R.E.S. Act—in the form of stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and other assistance—provides a financial lifeline for many, but not all, who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One group of people who need this assistance desperately are not eligible for Federal COVID-19 help. These immigrants live in our communities, contribute to the economy, and pay taxes. These men and women work on dairy farms, in meat-packing plants and cheese factories, in restaurants and cleaning services, in non-profits and small businesses through the Fox Valley.

Casa Esther, a Catholic Worker House in Omro, and an ESTHER member, was established in 2010. It works with a large network of Spanish-speaking people, providing support, education, and financial assistance in the Oshkosh-Omro area. In the last few weeks, using funds contributed to it by concerned Fox Valley residents, it has been able to distribute over $4,500 to people in need and to provide needed information and referrals to other agencies in the Fox Valley.

Contributions in support of this project may be sent directly to Casa Esther at 320 N Webster Ave, Omro 54963. Or make your donation by visiting Casa Esther’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CasaEstherOmro.

ESTHER Immigration Task Force

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Date: 
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 6:30pm
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Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 6:30pm
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Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 6:30pm
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Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 6:30pm
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Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 6:30pm
Date: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 6:30pm
Date: 
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 6:30pm
Date: 
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 6:30pm
Location: 
Zoom Meeting

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

Fox Valley Vigil for Migrant Justice

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Date: 
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 6:30am - 6:30pm
Location: 
Houdini Plaza, 111 W College Ave, Appleton

The World is Watching. Demand the End of MPPVigil in support of Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship members and others traveling to the border at Brownsville, TX (across from Matamoros, Mexico) soon. The group from the Fox Valley will join with activists and faith leaders from around the country to protest the US’s “Remain In Mexico” policy for asylum seekers.

“While local faith leaders heed the call to witness and testify what is happening at our southern borders, let's come together to educate our Fox Valley neighbors on this horrific policy that has harmed so many seeking safety.”

Full information available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/794922647653958

Know Your Rights Training: Police, ICE and Social Media

Date: 
Monday, February 3, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: 
St. Marks Lutheran Church, 140 S Green Bay Rd, Neenah

Know Your RightsJoin ACLU of Wisconsin's Director of Community Engagement Emilio De Torre as he walks you through how to exercise your constitutional rights when interacting with law enforcement and ICE, as well as how to use them on social media. The event will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Neenah, WI, and is being sponsored by the ACLU of Wisconsin and ESTHER’s Prison Reform Task Force. This presentation is the program for the February 2020 meeting of the Task Force.

Immigration Task Force Works Towards a Better Life for Immigrants

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The ESTHER Immigration Task Force has evolved over the years into a wide-reaching group of dedicated people with ties to many groups in the community and beyond. Our agenda includes advocacy for specific policy changes; community education and consciousness-raising relating to the experience of immigrants; and walking alongside immigrants as they negotiate the twists and turns of life in our community. Click “Read more” below to see the complete update from ESTHER Immigration Task Force chair Nancy Bourassa.

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