Rights and Democracy

Florida Immigrants, Workers and Voters Tell Legislators: We will Remember in November!

February 17, 2016
IMMIGRANTS, WORKERS AND VOTERS TELL THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE: WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!



Hundreds of immigrant families, voters, farmworkers and underpaid workers mobilize to Tallahassee to call out the Republican-led Legislature for following Trump’s bad example of attacking immigrant and hard working families, while benefiting greedy corporations



Tallahassee, FL - As Florida’s legislative session begins its final 30 days, hundreds of immigrant families, farmworkers, faith leaders, Latino voters and underpaid workers mobilize to Tallahassee to express their frustration to a Republican-led legislature that chose to side with Donald Trump by attacking Florida’s hardworking families and ignoring the needs of underpaid workers, while pleasing big businesses with tax cuts and corporate welfare.



The groups will hold a press conference at noon today at the Florida State Capitol with immigrant families, Latino voters, underpaid workers, Senator Dwight Bullard, Francesca Menes from the Florida Immigrant Coalition, Monica Russo – President of SEIU Florida-, and Juan Escalante from America’s Voice.



While the first of nine anti-immigrant bills filed this session flew through the House of Representatives and was approved, positive bills aimed to really support Florida’s families by raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 are being completely ignored.



“We thank Senator Diaz de la Portilla for standing up for his community, setting an example for other Latino legislators in the House who voted in support of turning Florida into a ‘show-me-your-papers’ state,” says Francesca Menes, Policy Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “Choosing politics over your own people is not a smart decision in Florida when you’re attacking immigrant workers and voters that sustain our economy and have the keys to the White House.”



Even though last week leaders in the Florida Senate declared that the immigration bills are dead this session, pro-immigrant groups under the We Are Florida campaign will continue to have a presence until the last day of session to make sure no anti-immigrant bill moves forward. The groups will also deliver two different petitions developed by America’s Voice against the attacks on immigrant families, asking the legislature to stop the anti-immigrant bills and asking Attorney General Pam Bondi to drop the lawsuit against federal protection programs for undocumented parents.



In addition, pro-immigrant organizations, labor unions and other groups, will soon start rolling out civic engagement efforts to mobilize voters for November.



“Hardworking Floridians are being robbed! While immigrant families are being criminalized and underpaid workers are denied a living wage, Governor Scott and his party are giving handouts to the same big businesses that are double-dipping from our taxes,“ says Monica Russo, President of SEIU Florida. The labor union recently released a study exposing that $11.4 billion dollars of Florida’s taxpayers are covering the basic needs of underpaid families so greedy corporations can increase their profits. “We will not forget how our families are being treated during this legislative session and we will hold politicians accountable at the polls in November.”



Pro-immigrant and pro-worker groups part of the “We Are Florida” campaign include the Florida Immigrant Coalition, SEIU Florida, WeCount!, American Friends Service Committee, United Families, Women Working Together USA, Faith in Florida, Young American Dreamers, Hope Community Center, Farmworkers Association of Florida, 1199SEIU Florida, among others.

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