Wisconsin Leaders Urge Legislation for Dreamers

Click here for a recording of today’s call.

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin faith, law enforcement and community leaders urged Congress to pass a legislative solution for Dreamers on a press call this afternoon.

A Milwaukee pastor, the Appleton police chief and a Green Bay nonprofit leader spoke about the contributions of Dreamers to Wisconsin and the nation, and urged legislation that allows them to continue contributing.

“As a pastor of a multiethnic church in Milwaukee, this is important to me because Dreamers are members of my church and community,” said Pastor Matt Erickson, Senior Pastor, of Eastbrook Church in Milwaukee. “We as God’s people are supposed to mirror the passion of God for the foreigner, and as people of faith we need to stand with Dreamers who love this country and its values. We want the larger Christian community in the U.S. to know that this issue directly affects our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to live out the commandments of Jesus, and that means standing on the side of justice with our Dreamers.”

“Congress has a real opportunity to get something done right now—we’re at a crescendo point,” said Chief Todd Thomas of the Appleton Police Department. “From a law enforcement perspective, we need to ensure that our borders are secure, but at the same time we need a process that helps us focus on public safety, target serious crime and protect witnesses and victims. Trust is the foundation of policing, and unless Congress acts, I fear that the Dreamers are going to be driven back into the shadows and create safe zones for criminals. The time is right for both parties to step up and put some permanent fixes in place that are going to make all our communities safer.”

“I’ve known so many of these Dreamers since they were children. They’re great and determined students in school. They have always felt welcomed and at home here, in the only country they know. I often hear expressions from them of hopefulness and gratitude,” said Sister Melanie Maczka, Executive Director of Casa ALBA Melanie, Green Bay. “With DACA they confidently go on to college with great dreams and have jobs and families. They are enthusiastically contributing to Wisconsin and to our country. But now they’re deeply worried for themselves and families. They need congress to act. These youth and their families contribute much. Their dreams enrich all of us. We urge our members of Congress to pass a just and compassionate legislative solution to protect these young people, their families, their jobs and their continued presence in our country.”

“Dreamers are key contributors to communities across Wisconsin and across our nation,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Congress must act with urgency to pass legislation that allows them to continue contributing. Doing so is a win not just for these young immigrants, but for our communities, our churches and our public safety.”

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