Civil Rights & Immigration

Demonstrators and immigrants protesting with We Are Human sign

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

BY: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide […]

Protesters gather in Kenosha the second night of protests on August 24th, 2020. This was before the clashes with police later that night. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Riot bill’s penalties are as broad as they seem

BY: - September 17, 2021

A bill that would create a felony penalty for people who were part of a protest where rioting broke out appears to be as broad as it sounds. During a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, on Thursday, questions persisted as to who exactly the bill would apply to if […]

Rep. Shae Sortwell (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Sortwell hopes social media bills have uniting principles

BY: - September 17, 2021

When it comes to censorship on social media, Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers) hopes to find bipartisan ground to stand on. Recently, he introduced three bills which aim to both combat online censorship and provide new avenues for free-speech challenges. “Big tech has long been violating people’s free speech rights through deleting, censoring and shadow-banning […]

Rep. Supreme Moore (D-Milwaukee) Omokunde (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Moore Omokunde presses for bill to prevent police job-hopping

BY: - September 15, 2021

For Rep. Supreme Moore Omokunde (D- Milwaukee), the legislative struggle to hold police accountable hits home. As a young man growing up in Milwaukee, he’d too found himself caught in the web of seemingly discriminatory traffic stops. To a certain degree, however, Moore Omokunde had a layer of protection in these encounters. “I’d be driving […]

Water protectors conducting a blockade against the Line 3 pipeline. (Photo | Giniw Collective)

Wisconsin joins the Enbridge Line 3 resistance

BY: - September 14, 2021

Across Wisconsin’s western border with Minnesota, Indigenous people and allies have united in months of resistance against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. For those who have traveled to the resistance camps, what’s at stake is clear. It’s a struggle not just against a defiant fossil fuel industry, but also against what some call “the Great […]

Nicole Safar | Photo courtesy of Law Forward

Safar takes the helm at Law Forward

BY: - September 13, 2021

Law Forward, Wisconsin’s nearly one-year-old public interest law firm, announced Thursday that it has hired its first full-time executive director, Nicole Safar.  Safar helped lead Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for many years, including as the group’s vice president of public affairs and legal advocacy, before leaving to serve as Gov. Tony Evers’ assistant deputy secretary […]

Housing costs saving piggy bank under magnifying glass

Billions of dollars in federal rental aid remains stalled in slow-moving states, localities

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Make it simpler to apply for rental assistance money. Allow landlords to apply on behalf of unresponsive tenants. And consolidate two overlapping federal programs aimed at getting financial help to struggling renters. Those were among the proposals that U.S. House members weighed during a hearing Friday on how to better help states and localities […]

Protesters confronting riot-clad officers who are blocking the freeway on the first day. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Inside the Google group police used to monitor 2020 protests

BY: - September 10, 2021

Last year, as the streets in towns across Wisconsin filled with marches against police violence, local law enforcement agencies established numerous ways of sharing updates and information on the protests. One response was the Milwaukee County Law Enforcement Executives COVID/Protest group, which became an online hub for local agencies monitoring the movements of protesters in […]

Vivienne Kerley-de la Cruz (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Farmers Union)

A fresh face for the Wisconsin Farmers Union

BY: - September 9, 2021

Eyes sparkling over a face mask decorated with little black-and-white cows, Vivienne Kerley-de la Cruz, the energetic new policy coordinator for the Wisconsin Farmers Union, slipped into a booth at Ancora coffee shop near the Capitol.  Brand new in her job, which she started in June, Kerley-de la Cruz has a background in rural organizing […]

A close up on barbed wire outside a possible prison or jail facility

Evers on pace for record pardons, activists push for more

BY: - September 8, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers gathered alongside members of the state’s Pardon Advisory Board and individuals who’ve received recent pardons at the Crossroads Collective in Milwaukee. Evers called the Tuesday morning gathering a celebration, not just for those present, but also for the more than 260 people who’ve received pardons under the Evers administration. “If you hear […]

Day three of the nine day march to Wisconsin's capital, demanding immigration reform from the federal government. (Photo | Joe Brusky)

House reconciliation package would provide path to citizenship

BY: - September 6, 2021

A provision tucked in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would direct Congress to chart a path for citizenship for millions of undocumented people. If passed, the House provision would provide a pathway to citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to as Dreamers; farmworker workers; those who hold a Temporary […]

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 16: A U.S. military helicopter flies over the Afghan Embassy in a leafy, quiet neighborhood in the northwest section of the U.S. capital on August 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan's government more swiftly than experts expected, forcing Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country and U.S. President Joe Biden to send thousands of troops to Kabul to secure the evacuation of U.S. citizens. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Resettlement, aid efforts gear up for Afghan refugees

BY: - September 6, 2021

Fort McCoy, the Monroe County Army installation that has been receiving thousands of Afghan refugees as the U.S. military pulls out of their country, announced Thursday that it is expanding capacity to house 13,000 Afghans — nearly double the 7,000 people from Afghanistan currently housed there.  Also on Thursday Gov. Tony Evers announced opportunities for […]