Voces de la Frontera opening Waukesha location 
La Casa offering group office space at its Arcadian Avenue building 


By CARA SPOTO - Freeman Staff

Feb. 17, 2018

La Casa de Esperanza, 410 Arcadian Ave. The nonprofit, which runs a charter school in addition to a number of community programs serving the local Hispanic community, will soon begin renting office space to Voces de la Frontera.

Cara Spoto/ Freeman Staff

 

WAUKESHA — Voces de la Frontera is slated to open its first Waukesha office sometime next month, Jose Flores, co-president of the organization’s Waukesha County chapter, has confirmed.

After working in the community for years, Flores said the organization thought the time had come to open a permanent location. The new office will be located at La Casa de Esperanza, 410 Arcadian Ave.

The immigrant rights group has long used La Casa’s community center for forums and other events, but Flores said Voces was prompted to open a more physical location in the city after learning that Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson had applied to participate in the controversial 287g program.

Created by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the program essentially allows the sheriff’s department to honor all ICE requests called “detainers” and transfer undocumented immigrants into immigration custody from the county jail.

Severson has said 287g will not result in a local force dedicated to deporting non-criminal undocumented immigrants, but the participation in the program has nevertheless sparked fear in Waukesha’s Hispanic community, Flores said.

He added that he has heard of recent incidents involving ICE agents in Waukesha that resulted in several community members facing possible deportation proceedings as a result of driving violations.

The hope is that with an actual office in Waukesha, Voces can do more to help those facing deportation.

“We are not working (with La Casa) but La Casa has been helping the Latino community for a long time now, and La Casa knows about what is happening in Waukesha right now,” Flores said.

La Casa President and CEO Anselmo Villarreal said Thursday that La Casa already has a few nonprofits that it rents space to.

He added that while La Casa, which also serves the Hispanic community, doesn’t always agree with Voces on all the issues, “there are definitely some critical issues” involving the Hispanic community that the two groups do agree on.

Those issues include the need for comprehensive immigration reform and concern over the 287g program.

“The sheriff is a very good friend of mine, I work very closely with him, and we agree to disagree on that issue,” Villarreal said of 287g.

Villarreal said there are many people within the La Casa community facing immigration issues of one or sort or another, and La Casa will continue to work with those community members to resolve those issues.

cspoto@conleynet.com 262-513-2653