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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Issue of the Week: Immigration Cruelty

Plus Winners and Jerks of the Week

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When Rep. F. Jim Sensenbrenner tried to score cheap political points by demonizing undocumented workers, did he really think that rounding up, detaining and imprisoning almost 400 meatpacking plant workers in Postville, Iowa, would be good for the nation—or his Republican Party?

According to an essay by court interpreter Erik Camayd-Freixas, the mostly illiterate Guatemalan, Mexican and Ukrainian workers did not understand the criminal charges they faced, and chose five months in federal prison and deportation over fighting the charges.Later it was revealed that the plant managers had provided the workers with false documents, although the workers had no idea that they were doing any thing criminal.

The roundup caused “immediate collateral damage” in Postville. Camayd-Freixas wrote that one-third of the town’s population had left immediately after the raid; businesses and schools were empty; residents were traumatized; families were ripped apart; and the Catholic churches were taking in refugees.

Iowans worked together after the recent floods to aid friends, neighbors and strangers. Surely they can work together—humanely and sanely—to prevent businessmen from manipulating and exploiting uneducated immigrants. The effects of cruel and punitive immigration policies as advocated by Sensenbrenner and the Republican Party to drive a wedge through the electorate are now being felt in places as diverse as Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin. And the residents and voters of these states will remember that Sensenbrenner and the Republican elite couldn’t come up with a sane, humane solution for a complicated humanitarian issue.


Event of the Week:
Protect Wisconsin’s Vote Education Summit

Learn about the myth of voter fraud, felon re-enfranchisement, voter ID dangers, Election Day registration, bilingual voting barriers and poll accessibility at this Institute for One Wisconsin-sponsored event. The documentary Uncounted, about voter suppression in Ohio in 2004, will also be screened. The event takes place Thursday, July 24, 5:30-8 p.m., at The Times Cinema, 5906 W. Vliet St. Call 220-9250 go to www.protectwisconsinsvote.org for more information.

(To find more cool events, go to www.expressmilwaukee.com.)


Hero of the Week:
Amanda Harrington

Milwaukee native Harrington, a sexual assault survivor and a member of the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims Coalition, was instrumental in pushing the state Legislature to improve emergency room services for rape victims. To honor her work on that historic legislation, Harrington will receive the national Choice USA GENERATION Award. Congratulations, Amanda.


Jerk of the Week:
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker

Walker won re-election last year, so why is he holding a $100-$1,000 per-person fund-raiser at the Milwaukee County Historical Society, where Johnny Depp shot a few scenes for the upcoming film Public Enemies? Worse, Walker’s campaign asserted that the movie set was “not open to the public.” But it is open during July, as County Supervisor John Weishan noted. “You don’t have to give Scott Walker a $100 campaign donation to see the set,” he said in a release. “In fact, general admission is only $3, and Milwaukee County residents get free admission every Monday.”


Blog of the Week:
What Did Glenn Grothman Get Wrong This Week?
(glenn-grothman-watch.blogspot.com)

Glenn Grothman: Fails to Pass Muster on Government Reform, Again

It’s probably not a surprise, but Glenn has, again, landed at the bottom of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s annual scorecard for responsible government.

He scored at the bottom with Sens. [Ted] Kanavas, [Neal] Kedzie and [Mary] Lazich and was beaten only by [Sen.] Scott Fitzgerald.

As always, by their works shall ye know them. Glenn and his buddies regularly “stood with the special interests and worked to defeat reforms that would restore power to general public.”

Way to go, Glenn.

(To read more local blogs, go to blognetwork.expressmilwaukee.com.)


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession… We have sort of become a nation of whiners.” —former Sen. Phil Gramm, top economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain, regarding the current economic downturn

PHOTO OF THE WEEK:

Harley Museum Ready For Opening, by John December

expresso_harley.jpg

An evening walk along the Menomonee River on a beautiful summer night.


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