On Monday, about fifty people belonging to or affiliated with the Milwaukee-based immigrants rights organization Voces de la Frontera traveled from Wisconsin to Washington, DC, and protested in front of the home of Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. There they joined allies to form a lively crowd of over one hundred, there to protest the Biden administration’s continuation of the 287(g) program, a program which encourages collaboration between local police and sheriff departments and the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Section 287(g) is part of the Bill Clinton-era Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, but it was not implemented until 2002, under the George W. Bush administration. Although the implementation comes by executive order that can be repealed by any president, it has instead been kept in the almost two decades since Bush issued the decree, greatly expanding under the Donald Trump administration and, despite promises, not repealed under Joe Biden. Here is Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, addressing the crowd in DC on Monday.
Eduardo Parrea is a member of Voces and its Essential Worker Committee. Parrea spoke in DC on Monday, and was interviewed yesterday by Labor Radio. Parrea has lived and worked in the United States for over three decades, most recently in construction, and has raised a family in Wisconsin. He was only recently able to receive a Green Card, and can now legally apply for a drivers license. Parrea echoes the call for the Biden administration to keep its promise to end implementation of 287(g).
According to the ICE web site, its 287(g) contracts in Wisconsin are extensive, covering nine counties, including Brown, Fond du Lac, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Marquette, Sheboygan, Waukesha, Waushara and Sweetwater counties. This meant that for Parrea, traveling north or west of Milwaukee County could subject him to deportation on any routine traffic stop. Although never directly subjected to police action under 287(g), Parrea said that it made him live in constant fear.
That was Eduardo Parrea, a construction worker and member of Voces de la Frontera. Voces and Parrea have promised to continue pressure on the Biden administration to fulfill its promises to rescind implementation of the 287(g) police-ICE collaboration program.
Reporting Courtesy of Greg Geboski
Photo Courtesy of Joe Brusky, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, on Flickr