Series: Wisconsin's Diverse Waves Of Immigration

Many distinct and ongoing waves of immigration have indelibly shaped communities across Wisconsin. The 19th-century influxes of immigrants from Germany, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe are strongly associated with the state's cultural identity, but the immigrant experience in Wisconsin is far more varied. Canada has been a small but steady source of immigrants throughout the state's history. Several increasingly large phases of immigration from Mexico and other nations around Latin America have left imprints around the state, ranging from Milwaukee to dairy and vegetable farms in rural areas. In recent decades, immigrants from Asia have likewise increasingly made their home in the state, with Hmong communities standing out. As new groups of immigrants arrive in Wisconsin, their civic, religions and economic contributions adds to the state's diversity.
 
Imagine not being able to speak English, or not very much of it, and facing deportation proceedings in federal immigration court.
Wisconsin is not among the 17 states known to host facilities where the federal government detains migrant children. The state does, however, have two facilities where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds adult detainees.
Wisconsin no es uno de los 17 estados donde el gobierno federal tiene centros de detención para niños inmigrantes. Sin embargo, el estado tiene dos centros de detención para adultos.
Mexican immigrants and their descendants born in the United States comprise a growing and increasingly visible group of communities around Wisconsin.
While place of birth is straightforward for most people, for a few the waters are uncertain.
Immigration is an engine of change that has shaped Wisconsin throughout its history, reflecting the broader story of newcomers building new communities around the United States.
Immigration as a top line issue for dairy farmers would have been unthinkable just a generation ago when Wisconsin's agricultural landscape was dominated by small and medium-sized dairy farms run by the families that owned them.
As one of the state's largest industries and the core of its Cheesehead identity, dairy production is heavily dependent on immigrant workers.
Milwaukee's first community of Mexican immigrants flourished briefly but was shattered by the tragedy of the Great Depression.
Around 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 in a classroom on Madison's south side, a group of mostly Latino immigrants and English as a Second Language teachers sat in a circle listening intently as two special guests answered their questions.