Essential immigrant workers to pressure lawmakers to include citizenship option in national infrastructure bill

MADISON, Wis.– Dozens of immigrant workers are getting ready for the last leg of their 9-day, 90 mile march, from Milwaukee to Madison. Tomorrow, they’ll walk from Olbrich Park to the Wisconsin State Capitol tomorrow, where they’ll hold a rally, pressuring lawmakers to fight for a citizenship option in the national infrastructure bill, which is slowly making its way through Congress.

The march, organized by Voces de la Frontera, started last weekend. For the past eight days, dozens of immigrant essential workers, men and women who’ve been working in kitchens, grocery stores, and schools all throughout the pandemic, have been making their way to Madison.

The group will hold a rally at 1 p.m. at the State Capitol on Monday, June 28 to talk about their walk and what they hope comes of it.

Click here to learn more about Monday’s rally.

Haga clic aquí para obtener más información sobre el rally de mañana.

Sunday, marchers told News 3 they’re fighting on behalf of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in America. The group wants U.S. Senators to include a pathway to citizenship for them in the infrastructure bill.

“If you are not a Native American, then you are an immigrant,” said Hiram Torres, who participated in the march.

Many economists believe doing so would help all Americans. A study by the Center for American Progress shows a pathway to citizenship could create a $1.4 trillion boost in GDP over the next 10 years. Data also shows undocumented workers pay nearly $80 billion/year in federal taxes and $40 billion/year in state and local taxes.

However, the question of citizenship remains split along party lines. Republican Ron Johnson doesn’t support the plan. Democrat Tammy Baldwin has in the past, although it would take her and all 47 of her Democratic colleagues, as well as the two independents who caucus with them, to get a bill through the U.S. Senate.

“We are not asking you to change parties,” Torres pleaded. “We are just asking to see if you can try to be in our shoes and see why we’re seeking a path to citizenship.”