Letter to the Editor: Not the Republican Party You Knew and Loved

Northeast Wisconsin’s economy is predominantly based in three areas: agriculture, tourism, and construction – and none of these sectors can survive without immigrant labor.

A recent social media post bemoaned someone’s successful career as a fruit picker, until immigrants moved in. It’s a sentiment most of us here from Cherryland can identify with. All the way back to its heyday, it was immigrant labor who got those cherries to market.

Today we can replace fruit pickers with “farm worker,” “roofer,” “hotel housekeeper” – you get the point – our economy in northeast Wisconsin requires immigrant labor. Statistics show that more than 70 percent of farm workers are immigrants and a good percentage of those are undocumented. 

It’s immigrant labor who now gets that milk to market. Yet immigrants continue to be unfairly vilified by Republican politicians, even though our local economy would grind to a halt without them!

Recently, congressional Democrats presented a set of solutions for immigration reform. They even had some thoughtful Republicans on board!  However, MAGA Republicans blocked this bipartisan bill.  Why? Who benefited from that? Could it be that a solution would take that “issue” off the table for upcoming MAGA campaigns?

The chair of the Republican Party in Oconto County said in a memo to GOP county chairs in the 8th Congressional District that represents Door and Kewaunee counties that “our communities here in Wisconsin are suffering because of the flood of illegals …” Excuse me? Our rural counties with huge ag and tourism industries, are being kept afloat by immigrants! It’s also disgusting how  the MAGA-led Republican party refers to human beings while flaunting their supposed Christian values!   

There is no denying it: today’s Republican Party is not the party we grew up with. If you have voted for Republican candidates in the past, it’s time to send a message that it’s not acceptable for our elected officials to purposely sow chaos, ignore human decency, forget our values of truth, respect and fairness.

In 2024 vote for Democrats!

Jodi Parins

Algoma, Wisconsin