Numbers swell after historic mobilizations during the legislative session
Starting tonight, November 18th, until Sunday November 20th, the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) will host its sixth annual Congress in Gainesville. More than 200 participants representing grassroots organizations, community groups, immigrant rights advocates, lawyers, unions, faith leaders, students and farm workers, will gather to review their achievements during 2011 and prepare for the challenges 2012 might bring for immigrants in Florida.
Hosted by the Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice and the Coalition of Hispanics Integrating Spanish Speakers Through Advocacy and Service (CHISPAS), the 2011 annual membership meeting will swell to record numbers, attracting hundreds of people from throughout the state. The organization most recently earned notoriety for its role in mounting a formidable campaign, during the 2011 legislative session successfully thwarting the governor’s campaign threat of an Arizona immigration copycat bill.
With no staff until 2005, the Florida Immigrant Coalition now has a permanent presence peppered throughout the peninsula in great part due to a solid core of 30 diverse organizations and a talented cohort of full time staff in five different counties.
Florida has the fourth largest immigrant population in the country. Its state coalition has become a reliable and growing mobilization machine, in particular for its reach and depth with the state’s Latino constituencies.
The 6th Annual Congress will be held at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The Florida New Majority, the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy and the Florida Asset Building Coalition are expected to participate.