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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.

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
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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.

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