About 40 supporters of undocumented workers and immigration reform held a rally outside the Milwaukee office of Sen. Ron Johnson Tuesday.
The rally came on International Migrants Day, as declared by the United Nations. A UN statement issued Tuesday said whole sectors of the economy depend on migrant workers, and migrant entrepreneurs to help create jobs. Manny Vellon of the Service Employees International Union says undocumented workers help many firms in Wisconsin, and immigration reform would help the workers, "Worker’s rights need to be protected better, to serve our economy."
Vellon says a small coalition from the rally met with an aide to Republican Sen. Johnson and stressed that GOP presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush backed various changes in immigration laws that helped or would help undocumented residents. The reform advocates say a new law is needed next year, or more otherwise law-abiding immigrants will be deported. Milwaukeean Salvador Rojas is undocumented and faces deportation, after he says he was mistakenly arrested by immigration agents. Through an interpreter, Rojas said he has worked hard and been a good citizen.
In 2010 then-candidate Ron Johnson campaigned on an immigration policy that stressed securing U.S. borders and opposing blanket amnesty for the undocumented. The immigration advocates also plan on contacting Democratic Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin.