About three dozen people representing a Milwaukee immigrant advocacy group packed into five vans, early Monday morning, and headed to Cleveland to protest the nomination of Donald Trump as the republican candidate for president.
Voces de la Frontera is behind the protest, and Gerardo Alvarado helped organize it. Alvarado is 27, and was born in Mexico. But he says his parents decided to pursue the American dream in Milwaukee when he was just a boy. Alvarado said, "I was six years old, so most of my life I was raised here in Milwaukee. I went to school here, I got married here, individuals from my family are passing away here this is the country where I’ve lived my whole live."
Alvarado considers himself a proud American. He is also undocumented.
Alvarado thinks Donald Trump’s statements surrounding people like him are dangerous. He helped organize this protest – in part -- so people will see he’s not a drug dealer, a murderer or a rapist. He’s a UWM graduate with a good job, and a good life. "We want to stop this rhetoric, this anti-immigrant, very racist rhetoric that’s affecting how the communities feel not only about Latinos, but Muslim individuals, and the black community, as well," Alvarado said.
Most of these Cleveland-bound protesters admit they’re at least a little scared to demonstrate at the convention just a day after three police officers were shot to death in Baton Rouge. Voces de la Frontera executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz says they’re acutely aware of the potential danger.
"It is striking that every day there’s something in the news where clearly the tension rises because of the shooting that have been occurring both directed at police, the shootings of innocent African-Americans, and also (Trump's) base. Trump’s own base...in terms of the KKK and fascist supporters are also very dangerous."
Neumann-Ortiz says the protesters have been instructed not to engage, and not to be provoked by anyone who might try to harass them.