In Desperation, Scott Walker Bullies Immigrant Families & Dreamers

Walker follows the Trump playbook, launches anti-immigrant ads attacking Tony Evers in English

At the same time, Walker has launched Spanish-language ads voiced by Jessie Rodriguez aiming to appeal to immigrant voters

Voces de la Frontera Action will hold a march for early voting on Saturday, October 27th, at 12pm

MILWAUKEE, October 23, 2018 — On Tuesday, Scott Walker launched an anti-immigrant ad attacking his Democratic opponent Tony Evers for supporting legislation to restore access to driver licenses for Wisconsin immigrant families and in-state college tuition for immigrant youth, known as Dreamers. Walker’s ads use offensive slurs referring to immigrants as “illegals” and “illegal aliens.”

Voces de la Frontera Action is running Spanish-language radio and online ads urging Latinx voters to support Tony Evers, and to mobilize their friends and family to vote through the Voceros por el Voto campaign. Voces de la Frontera Action’s television ads supporting Evers will begin running on Friday. Voces de la Frontera Action is holding a march for early voting on Saturday, October 27th. Community members will rally at the Cesar Chavez Statue at El Rey at 1023 S Cesar Chavez Dr in Milwaukee at 12pm before marching to the Mitchell Street Library to vote early. Mandela Barnes, Earnell Lucas, and other candidates are expected to join the march.

Walker’s ads follow a strategy laid out by Trump and Republican strategists, to appeal to bigotry against immigrants and people of color. In recent days, Walker has joined Trump in attempting to stir up fear of a refugee caravan made up of Central American families seeking safety and a better life. Polls suggest that Walker’s strategy could backfire. In 2017, Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie sought to appeal to anti-immigrant bigotry to mobilize the Trump base, but was soundly rejected by swing-state voters, losing to Democrat Ralph Northam by almost 9% of the vote. Even Leah Vukmir in a recent debate claimed that she opposed Trump’s efforts to separate refugee families at the border, which Walker aided. Although there has not been polling on restoring driver licenses or in-state tuition to Wisconsin residents, 68% of Wisconsinites support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and 54% disapprove of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies according to the Marquette Law poll.

“Wisconsin is a pro-immigrant, welcoming state, and Walker’s bigoted ads will only backfire,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera Action. “A majority of Wisconsin voters, across party lines, support immigrants and their families.  Republican dairy farmers, most local law enforcement, and people of all faiths understand the urgent need and benefits of restoring driver licenses for immigrants. Walker is attacking Dreamers and hard working immigrant families to distract voters from holding him accountable for his budgets that benefit the wealthiest at the expense of healthcare and public education. How does someone who is a son of a pastor and claims to hold Christian values support policies that separate families?  Recently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has targeted immigrant families for deportation and separation from their families after they were stopped for driving without a license. Tony Evers supports restoring access to driver licenses for immigrant families because doing so will keep families together and increases public safety. Scott Walker is only giving Wisconsin voters more reasons to vote for Tony Evers.”

Walker’s anti-immigrant English-language ads come just as his campaign began running Spanish-language ads recorded by Jessie Rodriguez, a Republican State Senator who was once herself was undocumented. Rodriguez is from El Salvador, where many refugees are fleeing violence today. “Jessie Rodriguez is a sell-out, the same way Walker is,” continued Neumann-Ortiz. “They are beholden to wealthy interests that want to eliminate public education, keep wages low, and criminalize working people. We are proud to endorse Gabriel Gomez, who is running against Rodriguez in Assembly District 21. Voters turn out when they see that there are candidates like Evers and Gomez who have a backbone, have principles, and offer real change for working class communities. We are committed to educating the community and to mobilizing Latinx voters to make their voice heard in these elections and beyond. Early voting has already started, and we are encouraging voters throughout Wisconsin to vote early this week and join our Early Voting March on Saturday, October 27th in Milwaukee.”

Contact: Sam Singleton-Freeman | 414-469-9206 | sfreeman@vdlf.org

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