Friday, February 19, 2016

White Republican State Anti-immigrant Bills Opposed By Latino GOP Members

The State Senate under Republican control might avoid a vote on immigration local enforcement bill AB 450/SB 369.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

February 19, 2016

Milwaukee, WI - On Friday, Voces de la Frontera (VDLF), a workers and immigrant rights organization reported that the State Senate, which is controlled by Republicans might not vote on Assembly Bill 450/Senate Bill 369 after all, but the Senate session hasn't ended yet. The Senate will meet again in March to take up bills passed by the Assembly as well. AB 450/SB 369 is pending in the Senate after it was passed by the Republican controlled Assembly on Tuesday.
VDLF says, that on Friday, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) that the Senate would not likely take up AB 450/SB 369 because it is not a priority.
AB 450/SB 369 would lead police to investigate people's immigration status and detain undocumented people for deportation.
The state immigration local enforcement (sanctuary) bill was passed by the Republican controlled Assembly including State Representative Yesenia Eldermira "Jessie" Rodriguez (R-Franklin). Zeus Rodriguez, a respected member of the Hispanic community also a member of the Hispanics for Leadership group and the former President of the Southside St. Anthony's Catholic School (2011-2015) in the Hispanic community praised Senator Fitzgerald for his stance not to take up AB 450/SB 369, according to the MJS.
Zeus, his cousin Aaron Rodriguez, a fireman and a conservative writer and blog administrator including Jessie and Ivan Gamboa, the senior vice president of the Tri City National Bank created Hispanics for School Choice, a non-profit organization in 2010. Jessie is married to Aaron.
The MJS recently reported that Representative Jessie Rodriguez immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador as an illegal immigrant and later legalized her status.
Jessie since being elected in 2013 to the State Assembly has endorsed school choice initiatives, but has a history of voting against a proposed bill related to creating an optional state holiday for Cesar E. Chavez, the late leader of the United Farm Workers organization.
Rep. Jessie Rodriguez voted for two anti-immigrant bills and co-sponsored AB 723, which would restrict the issuance of a municipality identification card prohibiting the use for voting, getting public assistance and can only be used as employment ID's.
On Thursday, more than 60,000 Latino taxpayers from 30 Wisconsin cities including children and students rallied in Madison against several anti-immigrant bills passed by Republican legislators. Some GOP members are now opposing the passage of AB 450/SB 369 because it could keep Latinos from voting Republican. 
A known journalist and activist from the Hispanic community in Milwaukee, Robert Miranda, former Esperanza Unida, Inc. Executive Director released an open letter that criticized Reverend Joe Angel Medina, the Wisconsin Republican Party Caucus Chair and member of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party in Wisconsin for his lack of stepping up and opposing the anti-immigrant rhetoric and state legislative bills passed by State Republican legislators targeted at the Hispanic community.
Reverend Medina's daughter, Amanda Medina-Roddy is currently running for the Waukesha School Board and Waukesha community members of the Latino community are wondering where she actually stands on the Republican anti-immigrant bills and rhetoric.
Another prominent Republican member and former Wisconsin Republican Party Caucus Chairman, Manuel "Manny" Perez is speaking out against the anti-immigrant bills and released his approach to building bridges with the Hispanic community instead of barriers.

Update: On Saturday, Manuel "Manny" Perez responded on Facebook to the Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) article and released a statement when asked,  "Manny, as a prominent and well respected Latino Republican Party member in the state of WI and the first Hispanic to be appointed as Secretary of the WI DWD under Governor Scott Walker (R), do you support or not support Governor Walker to sign the current bills AB 450/SB 369 and AB 723/SB 533 into law? Also, do you support Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) stance not to take up AB 450/SB 369 as a priority to vote on the bill?"

Perez posted the following statement on Facebook, "As Walker’s first Secretary of Workforce Development and a moderate Republican, I formally ask Gov. Scott Walker not sign these bills and of Scott Fitzgerald and Republican Legislators  to block and put a stop to these this legislation. The public perception is that of anti-immigrant and anti-worker posture when in fact undocumented workers are present because companies are hiring them, because they are good workers seeking to feed their families here and in other countries, and when in fact both Democratic and Republican administration have contributed to the existence of undocumented workers. Workers are not terrorists; they are here as a result of many factors that include among many corruption and lack of jobs in developing nations and US International policy. A framework was presented by me in 2014 to both Paul and Ron. It is sound and most certainly can be improved upon. I ask instead for the Republican and Democratic representatives to pass resolutions exerting tremendous pressure on the federal government to undertake immigration reform that tackles the ROOT causes of immigration without making the workers and private sector that hire them the scapegoats for failures of past Republican and Democrat administrations because they will –without doubt- both suffer.  It is time for all Wisconsinites to go beyond a myopic / parochial view of labor, and of international flows of labor when in fact there are many geopolitical, international trade, US policy issues that contribute to illegal immigration."

Zeus Rodriguez on Saturday responded to the HNNUSA article and stated, "...for the record I am not a Republican. I am an Independent, and make that as well-known as I can. That being said, I do tend to support many more Republican initiatives because I believe that what they usually propose is better for our community i.e. School Choice and free-market principles. And most importantly they reflect my Catholic faith in regards to religious liberty and are fundamentally pro-life. So to answer your questions, I do not support either bill but am much more discouraged by AB450. And as I said in my open letter to Republican leadership, I am asking the Senate and Governor Walker to ignore the bill or at the very least have it pertain only to convicted felons. Thank you."

Video: 60K Latinos rallied in Madison, WI against anti-immigrant bills

The following are Miranda's open letter to Reverend Medina and released statement by Perez, the former Wisconsin DWD Secretary under Governor Scott Walker (R).


Hispanic GOP Anti-Immigrant Bill

Mr. Joe Medina
Chairman, Hispanic Caucus
and Member of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Wisconsin

Ref: AB 450

Dear Mr. Medina:

I once served as Chairman of the Latino Caucus of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. As you are currently Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, I am frankly flabbergasted by your silence regarding the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Republican Party of which you are a member.

The recent passage of AB 450 without so much as a word of protest from you is very disheartening. Your lack of leadership is very disappointing to the vast majority of
Latinos in Wisconsin.

I am very disappointed by your lack of concern for a bill that has the potential to separate U.S.-born children from their parents-which is completely inhuman.

Further, this legislation makes Wisconsin look bad. It does not serve any measure of security. It feeds into the Trump-like paranoia being fueled by venomous words supported by the polluted minds of certain people. You know that Latinos of all walks of life love this country and have served our nation proudly. Why are you silent about this matter?

Your lack of leadership is helping to fuel unfounded fears of Latino immigrants. A fear that your Party is helping to encourage.

Unfortunately, you have not made any public statement against these bills, nor have you condemned the false narratives produced by over-zealous anti-immigrant members of the Republican Party.

Your silence certainly makes the relationship between the Republican Party and Latinos here in Wisconsin appears to be a relationship of Hispanic subjugation.

If you as a conservative view this bill as being representative of conservative values, then I fear for the future of our great state and mighty nation. If Hispanic leaders of the Republican Party are too timid to stand against an unjust law such as AB450, then the future of
the Republican Party of Wisconsin should be a future sin Latinos.

I am asking that you condemn this bill for the sake of immigrant families and their U.S.-citizen children. I also am asking that, as Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus of the Republican Party, that you publicly condemn this law and ask Governor Walker not to sign this bill.

Wisconsin Hispanic Republicans should be in a position to guide the GOP towards a common sense approach to immigration. Being silent is counterproductive.

Robert Miranda
Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal
Program Director, WTSJ - Channel 38
Former Chairman, Latino Caucus, Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Manny Perez Position in relation to laws being passed in the Wisconsin Assembly: We must go beyond politics on immigration for the sake of Wisconsin and its people.

With great concern I have seen the approval of laws being perceived as anti-immigrant in the State of Wisconsin; which in my opinion do not reflect that a careful analysis of the economic and geopolitical realities has taken place.

Two years ago, August 2014, I presented the outlined framework to Sen. Johnson and Paul Ryan. Please read. They have been initially supported by both and most certainly can be improved. I ask -from the bottom of my heart- of all Republicans and Democrats that for the sake of Wisconsin and its people we must go beyond politics.

Here is the body of the proposal:


1. US must change its foreign relations policy towards Latin America via the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to tie development loans to actual, measurable, sustainable employment outcomes and increases in purchasing power. OBJECTIVE: Lower the supply of labor to the US via increased employment in Latin America, increase consumption in Latin America and aggregate demand for US products and services; reduce corruption in Third World government / nations, maximize use of US taxpayer funds 

2. Protect the border with increased security OBJECTIVE: Lower supply of undocumented labor to the US while increasing security; act in unison with the rest of the measures
3. Implement MANAGED LABOR FLOWS approach / Temporary Guest Worker Program to existing UNDOCUMENTED workers in the US and overseas; consider granting temporary work permits to existing undocumented workers. OBJECTIVE: Meet labor demand needs on understaffed positions, or positions where skill is needed, or seasonal employment 

4. Standardize E-Verify across the US and penalize US employers and workers who violate the law OBJECTIVE: Increase security, ensure workers are protected under labor laws, ensure proper accounting for taxes paid
5. Establish comprehensive economic development and workforce development strategy at the national level as opposed to hodgepodge or reactionary initiatives OBJECTIVE: Provide a stable, flexible economic development and workforce development framework to the states that they can use to maximize outcomes and train the local workforce; yet achieve aggregate results 

6. Ensure all nations adhere to accepted WTO labor standards OBJECTIVE: Ensure all nations play under the same rules, protect workers' rights and safety, and ensure stable labor force for business. 

7. Focus on measurable results and outcomes OBJECTIVE: Reduce heated rhetoric and politicking and maximize benefits to the citizens and the nation

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