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Milwaukee staged a 'Day Without Latinos.' Here's what that looked like.

Calling for an end to deportation raids, Wisconsinites gathered for a 'Day Without Latinos.'

Milwaukee staged a 'Day Without Latinos.' Here's what that looked like.

When Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained and deported Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos in early February, it became clear that President Trump was taking a no-holds-barred approach to immigration.

Ripped from her family, from her two teenage children, Garcia de Rayos was just one of more than 680 undocumented immigrants detained by ICE around the country in the past week. It quickly became clear that Trump's hardline stance on undocumented immigrants was more than just tough talk, leaving many of the more than 11 million undocumented population feeling rightfully nervous that their city may soon be next.

Recently, outspoken Trump supporter and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke indicated plans to enroll his officers in the Department of Homeland Security's 287(g) program, allowing local law enforcement to act alongside ICE in detaining undocumented immigrants. Soon after, Wisconsin immigration activists began to mobilize in response.


Sheriff David Clarke spoke at a Trump campaign event on Oct. 17, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/AFP/Getty Images.

On Monday, Feb. 13, thousands of Latinos, immigrants, and allies flooded the streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in protest of Trump and Clarke.

Calling it a "Day Without Latinxs, Immigrants, and Refugees," civil and workers' rights group Voces de la Frontera organized a single-day strike. Immigrants, refugees, and Latino workers from around the state took the day off work and gathered for a march on the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

The goal of the strike is to use collective economic power — making their absence from the workforce felt — in a statement about how integral immigrants are to the fabric of America.

"We arrived here from more than 25 cities in Wisconsin to show Trump and his lapdog Sheriff Clarke that the people of Milwaukee, the people of Wisconsin, and this whole country reject the 287g program, which is part of this mass deportation plan," said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera in a statement.

"Today, we organized a Day Without Latinxs, Immigrants, and Refugees to use our economic power — through work stoppages, small business closures and our consumer boycotts, to defend our families and communities."

There are more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and they actually help the economy, rather than hurt it.

A 2016 analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found that undocumented immigrants contribute roughly $11.6 billion a year in taxes.

During his campaign, President Trump tried to create the impression that undocumented immigrants are a drain on the country's resources. That's simply not an accurate portrayal of their contribution to America's economy.

Undocumented immigrants pay into systems, such as Social Security, though they'll never collect on it.

Another common thread during Trump's campaign and in the early weeks of his presidency is a supposed connection between undocumented immigrants and crime. In reality, undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crime than U.S. citizens.

Trump opened his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists. At the Republican National Convention last July, Trump invited families of people murdered by undocumented immigrants to speak. Last month, he announced plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. All of this gives the impression that undocumented immigrants are dangerous.

The reality is that a number of studies have found that undocumented immigrants are actually less prone to crime than citizens.

Ripping people away from their families and sending them back to countries where they haven't lived in years — decades even — isn't going to make America great.

Whether they're citizens or not, the people who live here, who work here, who love here — they're Americans. And that's what the strike and the #DayWithoutLatinos was all about. From an economic point of view, it's better to have a "Day Without Latinos" than a country without Latinos. They're a part of the American story, no matter how they came here or whether they have the right kind of identification. We need to stand up in support of our fellow Americans.

People are making their voices heard. On Feb. 13, it was in Milwaukee. Wherever it's needed next, let's commit to standing on the right side of history.

You can learn more about Voces de la Frontera's work at its website.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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