by teleSUR | Feb 13, 2017
Latinos and others from a dozen cities in the state of Wisconsin traveled to the city to protest a plan to make deputies federal immigration agents.
At least 10,000 people participated Monday in a mile-long march under the banner “A Day without Latinos” in Milwaukee in order to protest against a proposal by the Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to enroll his deputies in a federal program that would give them the authority of federal immigration agents so they could detain undocumented immigrants.
The protesters moved through the streets chanting “Si podemos!” or “Yes we can!” The marchers, which the police said could have been up to 20,000, were swelled by thousands of people from around the state of Wisconsin who came in buses Monday morning to join the protest.
“Many people got to be afraid, you know. Like many families in this county, there’s a lot of hard workers. They are not criminals. We are not criminals,” Jose Flores, board president at Voces de la Frontera, one of the groups organizing the march, told the Chicago Tribune. “There’s a lot of hate in the country now with the new president and we march for that too,” referring to President Donald Trump.
Part of the protest was a call for Latinos around the state to close their businesses, take their children out of school and march to stop Clarke from turning deputies into immigration agents, the newspaper reported.
“We want the president to not do what he wants to do,” Maria Jasso told the Tribune accompanied by her three children, whom she brought to the march to “learn an important lesson about immigration,” the local outlet said.
The mass action was called in response to Clarke’s Jan. 27 statement saying, “No more catch and release of criminal illegal aliens. I will assign as many deputies to this initiative as I can. It is a public safety priority.”
In response to the rallies against him Monday, Clarke issued a statement on his Facebook page praising Trump’s immigration policies and saying that the U.S. borders should be protected for national and domestic security reasons.
“We finally have a president who has a sense of urgency about faithfully defending our borders and I am going to help as outlined under an executive order for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to partner with local law enforcement,” he wrote.
Trump has vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, instructed his administration to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border while introducing the travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and an indefinite entry ban on all refugees, which is currently suspended.