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'Day Without Latinos' Draws Thousands to Wisconsin Capitol

Joe Brusky / MTEA
Thousands protested inside of the State Capitol on Thursday.

Thousands of people from across Wisconsin marched at the State Capitol in Madison on Thursday, against legislation they say is anti-immigrant.

Many people took the day off work for  the "Day Without Latinos" demonstration. They chanted and carried signs that read "All We Want is Equity" and "Stop the Deportations."

The groups oppose a bill the Assembly passed on Tuesday that would allow police to investigate a person's immigration status after they've been charged with a crime.  

Another bill that both houses of the legislature passed this week would bar municipalities from issuing local photo IDsto people who don't have access to state IDs.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces De La Frontera, organized several busloads from Milwaukee.  She implored GOP lawmakers and Gov. Walker to reject the bills.

"These laws only promote discrimination between workers.  They promote racial profiling and fear of law enforcement.  They threaten our families and endanger our communities,"  Neumann-Ortiz says.

Assembly Republicans defended the measures.  Speaker Robin Vos said Thursday that the goal of the "sanctuary cities" bill is to punish people who commit crimes.  He noted the measure does not target people who are pulled over for traffic violations.

Supporters of the plan to ban local IDs fear it would lead to confusion and fraud.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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