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Supreme Court Amicus Briefs Filed: Florida Elected Officials, Local Immigrant Leaders, Community Advocates Rally Support To Have Supreme Court Unfreeze DACA+ And DAPA

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Ahead of April 18th oral arguments, advocates, business leaders, elected officials and eligible DACA+/DAPA recipients demonstrate strong support for President Obama’s Executive Actions

Today, Florida elected officials, local advocates and community leaders signed on to amicus briefs filed in U.S. v. Texas, the Supreme Court case that will determine the fate of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration – and will affect the lives of millions of undocumented immigrants and American families. In a show of solidarity, brief signatories and supporters of the DACA+/DAPA programs noted the positive impact that they will have for our country, and the ways in which the implementation of the programs will improve the lives of millions of immigrants who are already living in the U.S. and contributing to our economy and to our communities.

Said Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, “The president’s executive actions on immigration would help keep families together, and are instilling a sense of hope for the millions of undocumented immigrants across our country. DAPA and DACA+ would create opportunities to support and protect families caught in our country’s broken immigration system, in a way that respects the constitutional powers granted to the President, and that also upholds the values that our country was founded on.”

Said Maria Bilbao, a DAPA Eligible Florida resident and member of United Families, “The immigrant community in Florida recognizes the impact and benefits that programs like DAPA would have on millions of families across the country. We have remained committed to fight for this kind of immigration relief – whether it is in the street or in the courts – because we understand that millions of lives could be impacted by the DAPA/DACA+ programs. As a DAPA beneficiary, I look forward to a favorable decision from the Supreme Court on this issue, because I know that President Obama has the authority to enact these programs. This lawsuit is nothing more than political theater from the Republican party, a political challenge and not a legal one, which is delaying relief for millions of hard-working immigrants like myself.”

Added, Claudia Saucedo, a member of DREAMers’ MOMS,“I have lived in the United States for the past 15 years, and the thought of being separated from my children terrifies me. As the mother of four, 2 who are legal permanent residents and 2 with DACA, I understand how programs like DAPA could impact my life, and that of millions of immigrants across Florida and the United States. To me, DAPA means freedom – freedom to drive, freedom to work, freedom to contribute to my community, to give a better life to my children. That is why I want the Supreme Court to look at this political lawsuit from a humanitarian standpoint, because people like me want to continue to contribute to our communities.

“Immigration reform is important for our entire country. From high-tech engineers to agricultural workers, our economy benefits from the contributions of immigrants of all background. As an immigrant born in Latin America and arriving as a teenager, I had the opportunity to work hard and achieve success in this country. In my home state of Florida alone, 229,000 residents are eligible for expanded DACA and DAPA and implementation of these programs would result in over a $9.4 billion cumulative increase in state GDP. We need the DACA and DAPA programs so that hundreds of thousands in Florida, and millions across the country will be able to come out of the shadows and fully contribute to our economy and to our communities,” said Faquiry Diaz Cala, President and CEO of Tres Mares Group.

Juan Escalante, Director of Florida’s Voice, said “Our own leaders have signed the state onto a lawsuit that denies relief to Florida families and keeps thousands living in immigration limbo. Unfreezing these programs would not only benefit Florida’s economy, but it would ensure that countless Floridians feel safe in their own community and no longer have to live in fear of their family being torn apart by deportation. Governor Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi are playing political football when they should be focusing on the best interests of their constituents. Our only hope is that the Supreme Court will put this issue to bed once and for all and grant thousands of Floridians the relief they desperately need.”