SUFRIR stands for Students United for Immigrant Rights (SUFRIR) and it is the student component of Voces de la Frontera. SUFRIR is an opportunity for students to civically engage in the issues that matter most to them and their families. The first chapter of SUFRIR was formed in Racine at Horlick High School in 2004. SUFRIR students in Racine participated in campaigns for drivers licenses, in state tuition for undocumented students, and comprehensive immigration reform. SUFRIR students have participated in lobbying trips to Madison and Washington D.C. More recently, student leaders in Milwaukee played a key role in organizing a rally on Sept. 12th in Milwaukee in response to the new Social Security no match rule as part of a national day of action. Nearly 10,000 community members participated in the rally, making it the largest rally among participating cities.
SUFRIR builds leadership among immigrant and Latino students. Through the process at Horlick student achievement has risen, discipline problems have fallen and divisions that once existed between Latino and immigrant kids have decreased. Furthermore, a deeper understanding of immigrant issues has developed among staff and students at the school. Many of the students who have risen to leadership positions in the club have been recognized by the community and received scholarships. For example student leaders, Xavier Marquez,Cecilia Leal, Louisa Morales and Viviana Pastrana have all received the Hispanic unsung hero award in Racine. Student advisors Al Levie and Ryan Knudson have also received the award.
Students throughout Wisconsin should have the opportunity to take this kind of leadership role in engaging in immigration issues like in state tuition, the DREAM act, Social Security no match letters and others. As such, Voces is expanding SUFRIR to high schools and Universities throughout the state of Wisconsin.