Obama & Scott now free to bring relief to families and economy

Quoting Janis Joplin: “Freedom is having nothing left to lose”

Miami, FL – After the results from the mid-term elections in Florida and President Obama’s press conference, the following is a statement from María Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.


“For the past two months, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and its member groups knocked on and called nearly 47,000 households, talked to 11,000 voters, recruited over 2000 new potential members and trained over 30 organizers.

Our aim was that the families who do the hardest work at the lowest pay, terrorized by criminalization, would raise their political capital by turning out to vote. The Young American Dreamers in Auburndale and Lakeland, We Count in Homestead and Florida City, Haitian Women of Miami in Little Haiti and North Miami, and the Miami Workers Center in Little Havana, hit the streets since late August and knocked on doors thru heat and rain.

But we are not miracle workers. The lack of Executive Action was a colossal miscalculation and obviously impacted the electoral outcomes. But most importantly, it allowed bad politics to eclipse needed policy. Not only is there a deep disenchantment with both parties, evidenced by the growing number of independent voters, but frankly there is a deep disconnect between the population and the electorate. Our neighborhoods have vast number of legal permanent residents, undocumented and returning citizens, all of whom contribute to our community and pay taxes, but do not have a vote.

Although elections are central to power and decision-making, it is not the only way to defend our communities, make change and shape our communities. Now that the Elections are over, our social movement will continue to grow and move forward, and this is what we expect of our leadership:

  • President Obama now has an opportunity to turnaround his “Deporter in Chief” legacy and take Executive Action to stop the crisis immigrant families face with deportations.
  • Governor Scott can continue speaking Spanish to Floridians and support win-win policies such as re-instating drivers licenses to stimulate the economy, reduce the rate of uninsured drivers and improve highway safety.

As a social movement, we have contributed much to improving the quality of life and well-being of our families and insuring a future that upholds opportunity and equality for all. But we have a long way to go.”

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The Florida Immigrant Coalition is a statewide alliance of over 50 immigrant rights organizations including farmworkers, students, service providers, grassroots organizations and legal advocates, who come together for the fair treatment of all people, including immigrants. We accomplish our mission through coordination of immigrant organizations and community education, organizing and advocacy.