Immigration activists made stand at Trump rally

    Voces de la Frontera Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz (Photo by Isiah Holmes)
    Voces de la Frontera Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

    Voces de la Frontera Action, the political arm of the immigrant advocacy group, took to the streets Tuesday demonstrating against President Donald Trump’s visit to Milwaukee. Decrying what the group calls Trump’s “xenophobic and white nationalist agenda,” the group and it’s community allies sought to demonstrate that Wisconsin is looking for something different in 2020.

    “We are here today as organizations that represent immigrants and refugees to condemn recent actions by the Trump Administration to provoke war in the Middle East and the relentless attacks against the rights of asylum seekers, immigrants, people of color, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, women and working-class people,” said Voces de la Frontera Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz. “We say, Ya basta! Enough is Enough!”

    Voces de la Frontera has pushed for non-collaboration policies with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by police in Milwaukee County. The group took up the cause of a man who’d been detained by ICE, with the aid of MPD, and was sent to the Dodge County immigration detention center for several weeks.

    “Our community has lived through three years of a heartless and racist administration whose agenda is full of anti-immigrant policies,” said Daniel Gutierrez Ayala, a 20-year-old organizer and DACA recipient, who attends Cardinal Stritch University. “Trump is here today to advocate for continued hatred.”

    But at the Trump rally, Voces de la Frontera drew attention to the bigger picture of the president’s policies. “Trump’s actions are the actions of a mad man, but they are not without purpose or ideology,” said Neumann-Ortiz before a crowd of demonstrators. “What is the ideology? White nationalism, and militarism: the definition of facisim. What is the purpose? Personal enrichment, and corporate greed. Trump’s tax bill was one of the greatest giveaways to the rich in the history of the United States. Since Trump was elected, inequality has soared. He has done nothing for working people. He peddles hate and fear to divide and conquer and enrich his corporate backers, and himself.”

    Voces de la Frontera is preparing major strategies for the upcoming elections. “Trump’s actions have ushered in a new era of possibility,” said Neumann-Ortiz. “We will defeat Trump in November, but we also must make major breakthroughs in all 2020 elections. As we did in 2018, to elect and hold accountable candidates to make meaningful changes.”

    Gutierrez Ayala echoed the statement with a warning to the GOP and Trump allies. “Our communities are mobilizing for 2020. The power and voices of immigrant communities across the nation will make sure you will no longer terrorize our communities and set fire to the rights we deserve and have fought so hard for. As in 2018, I will be organizing my friends who are eligible to vote for those who cannot vote, to carry our message to the polls.”

    Isiah Holmes
    Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, and other outlets.