MILWAUKEE — The walk from Milwaukee to Madison is long, but as a group of immigrants and other marchers with the advocate group, Voces de la Frontera, chanted in Spanish on Sunday afternoon, “Sí, se puede!”
That means “yes, we can” or “yes, it’s possible.”
One of the people marching the 90 mile, nine day trek from Milwaukee to Madison is Alondra Garcia. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was two-years-old in 1999.
Garcia, a second grade bilingual teacher is what’s called a ‘dreamer,’ or a DACA recipient.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an Obama era policy that grants people who were brought to the U.S. as children, and grew up here, temporary protection from deportation.
She said she sees a lot of herself in some of her students, who are also children of immigrant parents.
“Their parents are undocumented. They’re citizens, but they ask daily questions, like, ‘Why is it my parents can’t vote.’ So, it’s a topic we have to dive into, and talk about because it’s something that’s affecting our country, and affecting them personally,” Garcia said.
That is why Garcia and several others are marching to Madison.
Their goal is to advocate for immigrants - many of whom have been essential workers through the COVID-19 pandemic - and help all of the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrant essential workers get citizenship and drivers licenses.
“If we bring citizenship for all, our economy, our society will do better. Immigrants make America great,” Garcia said.
They’ll be stopping in different towns each day on their journey to Madison to spread their message.
Garcia is hopeful this march, and their message, will pressure the Biden administration to include citizenship for the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrant essential workers in the jobs and infrastructure budget bill.
“This is our home. This is all we know,” Garcia said. "We deserve to stay here and be treated as such, as any other citizen.”
The march is expected to arrive in Madison on Monday, June 28, where a rally will be held at the State Capitol.