'A Day Without Latinos' protest planned Thursday

Posted at 8:24 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 12:42:19-05
NEENAH, WI -- A group fighting for social justice for immigrants throughout Northeast Wisconsin is calling on a boycott of two bills making their way through state legislature this week.
And they're calling on the Latino community, and its supporters, to take a stand against the bills by walking off the job Thursday to join protesters at the state Capitol.
Assembly Bill 450 would prohibit the creation of "sanctuary cities" for undocumented immigrants in Wisconsin, while penalizing cities that block police from inquiring about one's immigration status. 
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 533 would block cities and counties statewide from issuing their own I.D. cards.
"They are unjust, anti-immigrant bills," says Unidos por un Futuro Mejor leader Norys Piña. "The Latino community thinks that this is the moment, and they need to fight for their rights."
She says the protest goes beyond asking Latino workers to boycott work Thursday.
"We are calling people... do not shop, do not take kids to school," adds Piña.
Organizers are also asking non-Latino supporters, like volunteer David Haas, to join.
"The Republicans have claimed to be in favor of local control," says Haas, referencing SB 533, "but now, this is exactly what they want to do. They want to take away local control."
But Republican State Senator Frank Lasee (R - De Pere), who co-sponsored SB 533, says the bill will help prevent I.D. fraud.
"I don't think it serves anyone to have a plethora of different types of I.D.s," says Lasee, "it also then raises the question of people faking them, and then using them for other purposes."
Senator Lasee says SB 533 is on the calendar tomorrow in the State Senate.
The "sanctuary cities" bill is also set to be discussed this week.
There is a petition circulating online right now opposing the legislation. It can be viewed here.