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FLORIDA’S IMMIGRANT RIGHTS MOVEMENT CELEBRATES ANNOUNCEMENT AND PLANS NEXT STEPS

After President Obama’s announcement, nearly 200 immigrant rights leaders gather in Fruitland Park, FL to plan next steps to protect all immigrant families

Fruitland Park, FL – Yesterday, President Obama addressed the country to announce much needed changes in immigration to provide administrative relief to millions of families. This announcement comes with perfect timing right before the 10th Annual FLIC Membership Congress. This weekend, nearly 200 members and allies of the Florida Immigrant Coalition will gather to discuss the year, analyze the changes that come with President Obama’s Executive Action, and determine their plan of action for the following years.

In response to the recent announcement, the following is a statement from María Bilbao, an undocumented mother who would benefit from administrative relief, and board member of the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

Yesterday’s announcement was a historic moment for my family and our movement. After 14 years of living in the shadows, we will finally be able to live without fear of even driving to work, and it opens new opportunities that we have been dreaming of for a long time.

While it is only temporary and far from being a comprehensive solution because it leaves millions of families out, this announcement also means that we are doing something right as a movement. It means that the years of organizing our communities, visiting our legislators (even when they close their door in our face), and the hundreds of marches, rallies, caravans and fasts, built up enough pressure for our politicians to respond.

The bittersweet feelings of last night, the joy combined with anger, quickly turned into a growing fire in our hearts to continue working and organizing until each one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants is treated equally in this country.

We will continue working until there is a permanent solution to our broken immigration system and a path to citizenship for our families. We will continue marching until all farmworkers can come out of the shadows and their contributions to our economy and well being are recognized. We will continue lobbying until our politicians stop spending our country’s budget in the detention and deportation system that is only benefiting a few for-profit companies.

We know that our fight isn’t over yet.  But today, we are stronger as a movement.”