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Dreamers and South Florida Leaders Call on Senator Rubio, Representatives Diaz-Balart and Curbelo to Pass the Dream Act and Support Legalization of all TPS Families

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More than One Million Immigrants – DACA and TPS Recipients – At Risk of Losing their Status and Being Deported 

A recording of today’s event is available here

Miami, FL – Today, undocumented youth, immigrant mothers and TPS recipients joined Florida voters and leaders to discuss why a legislative solution for Dreamers and TPS recipients is so urgent for Florida and the country, and to call on Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) to support the passage of a clean Dream Act before the end of the year and TPS legislation with a path to citizenship for all protected families. A recording of today’s event is available here.

Laura Coache, a DACA recipient, mother, and leader with We Belong Together, read a letter her 11-year-old daughter wrote to Congress as part of “Dream for the Holidays”:

My mommy is a dreamer. I am terrified, I don’t want her to be deported! On December 22nd my mommy could be deported. If Congress doesn’t do something now, I won’t have my mommy for Christmas and daddy and I will be very sad.” Laura applied for an extension of her DACA but has not received any response yet, leaving her and her family in limbo.

Maria Perez, Undocumented mother of two DACA recipients and member of United We Dream, said:

My family immigrated to the U.S. because of economic instability in Argentina. My children grew up without knowing the country and their relatives. As a teenager, my son was so anxious about his future that his body reacted to the stress with a paralysis in his arm and leg that he has to this day. But DACA changed my children’s lives: my daughter began working at an auto dealership and my son works in a small business where he just received an award for his work ethic. My daughter’s DACA expires in 2019 and my son’s will expire April 2018 because he was unable to renew. We urge Representatives Curbelo and Diaz-Balart to pass a clean Dream Act so that young people have opportunities to achieve their ambitions and know that their parents will be safe. 

Bud Conlin, Florida Resident and constituent of Rep. Curbelo, said:

I live and vote in Florida’s  Congressional District #26 represented by Congressman Carlos Curbelo. As a community member and an advocate for immigrants, all I see is families being fractured, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Immigrants come here in search of peace, safety, and prosperity, but our ‘land of opportunity’ is destroying their families and futures in the name of an ill-founded notion of security and nativism. We are also putting at risk our economic and community development, because the continuation of both DACA and TPS are vital for South Florida. Immigrants are the backbone of our tourism, healthcare, and construction industries. In the Florida Keys, where I reside, it is immigrants, many of whom are my neighbors, who are rebuilding and serving our devastated island chain after Hurricane Irma. Forcing immigrants into the shadows makes no economic sense. Congressman Curbelo, please stand up to stop this family separation and community destruction. Your constituents are watching. I implore you to sponsor a clean Dream Act now and support the legalization of all TPS families, not just some. 

Julio Calderon, Undocumented Dreamer from Honduras whose parents have TPS, Florida Immigrant Coalition, said:

Within my family of six, we have four different immigration statuses. My future lays in the hands of politicians who will make the decision whether my family is or isn’t separated. My parents need their TPS, my brother needs his DACA, and the Dream Act is the only legislative solution that could protect me. 

Christina Ponthieux, 10 year old U.S. citizen whose parents from Haiti have TPS, FANM – Haitian Women of Miami, said:

My name is Christina, I am 10 years old. I am the daughter of two immigrants and a young leader in Miami. I try to help when and where I can, I have been advocating for TPS since school ended. I would like to thank Rep. Curbelo for everything he has done so far, and I am asking him to co-sponsor the American Promise Act so more families like mine can get help. Thank you and God bless you all.

Natalia Jaramillo, Communications Strategist, We Belong Together, said:

Behind every person protected by DACA or TPS, there are children and entire families. As thousands of people are at risk of losing their immigration status and being deported very soon, this is not the time to postpone the conversation for next year or to support bills that only protect some families. Representatives Curbelo and Diaz-Balart, as well as Senator Marco Rubio, need to take bold action now by co-sponsoring the bills that protect the vast majority of people without sentencing others to deportation. South Florida’s families urge them to pass a clean Dream Act this year and to support bills that protect all families with TPS.

In Florida, there are nearly 33,000 DACA recipients whose futures and opportunities to fully contribute to their communities are threatened by President Trump’s decision to end the popular and successful DACA program. In Representatives Diaz-Balart’s and Curbelo’s districts alone, there are over 4,600 DACA-recipients, over 11,800 DACA-eligible residents, and the annual GDP loss from removing DACA workers would amount to approximately $220 million in the district.

There are more than 44,000 of TPS recipients from Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras living in Florida. Congressman Curbelo recently filed a bipartisan bill proposing a legal pathway for TPS recipients, but local constituents would like to see him support broader bills that cover a larger TPS population, like the American Promise Act filed by Rep. Nydia Velasquez.