Florida Legislature Kicks-Off Session With Attacks To The Safety of Immigrant Families


Join us, click here to mobilize to Tallahassee!  

Not even a full week has passed since Florida’s Legislative Session started, and the House Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee already voted to pass a bill banning “sanctuary” cities or counties. House Bill 697 was approved yesterday afternoon with 9 votes in favor and 5 votes against. This bill is just one of a total of 9 Trump-inspired bills that have been filed this session to intensify the persecution of undocumented immigrants and refugees and shut down any safe spaces for immigrant families, from their homes and neighborhoods, to schools, churches and hospitals.

Falsely framed as a crack-down on “criminal immigrants” to make Florida safer, the majority of these bills open the door to legalizing racial profiling by law enforcement of millions of Floridians simply because of the color of their skin, their religion, their country of origin or their language. This will affect millions of Floridians and not only those who are undocumented.

HB697, sponsored by Rep. Larry Metz (R-Lake), has a Senate version sponsored by Senator Aaron Bean which has not been heard in committee yet. The rest of the Trump-inspired anti-immigrant, anti-refugee bills include:

  • CS/SB 120: Offenses by Aliens Unlawfully Present in the United States
  • HB 83: Offenses by Illegal Immigrants
  • SB 786/ HB 697: Federal Immigration Enforcement
  • SB 1358: Reentry into the State by Certain Persons
  • SB 82: Postsecondary Education Tuition and Fee Waivers
  • SB 1030: Background Screening of Refugees
  • CS/HB 427: Refugee Assistance Programs
  • CS/HB 17: Local Regulation Preemption

“Since Trump announced his candidacy last year, we’ve seen a spike in anti-immigrant bills comparable to 2011 when Governor Scott’s legislature tried to bring Arizona’s worst anti-immigrant laws to Florida. Back then, the bills were defeated after thousands of Floridians flooded the State Capitol to protest the bills, and the agricultural and business sectors raised the alarm of a potential economic crisis. Is that what our legislature wants to do again this session? Spend our time and our resources debating and approving bills that separate families and threaten our economy? How does that make Florida safer and create opportunities for working families struggling to make ends meet?” says Francesca Menes, Director of Policy from the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

Fortunately, some legislators have understood that attacking immigrant and refugee families does not make our communities safer and that, instead, it increases the criminalization and stigmatization of other Floridians, not only the undocumented. The contributions of immigrants to our economy and our culture are greater when given an opportunity. This session, there are six proactive bills such as:

  • SB 1732/ HB 1341: Postsecondary Education Tuition and Fees
  • SB 1674/ HB 1407: Enforcement of Federal Laws
  • SB 184/ HB 1061: Driver Licenses and Identification Cards

“Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Jeanette Nunez know very well what happened in 2011 and since then have supported pro-immigrant bills. We look up to them to use their leadership in both chambers and do what’s right to protect Florida’s immigrant families,” says Ana Lamb from LULAC council 7250.


Come wait for the Election Results with us!

Over the past several months, community members have worked hard to turnout the vote. Join us tonight as we come together to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

7 pm Broward SEIU 1199 Offices

2881 Corporate Way

Miramar, FL 33025

7 pm Hillsborough Fodder & Shine

Seminole Heights

5910 N FL. Ave, Tampa

7 pm Hillsborough Cancun Grille Tampa

3434 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33607

7 pm Polk YAD Headquarters

2554 K Ville Ave, Auburndale, Florida 33823

7 pm Osceola Zoe Colon

6900 S Orange Blossom Trail

Orlando, FL 32809

7 pm Orange The Abby

100 S. Eola Drive

Orlando FL 32817

7 pm Orange Hope CommUnity Center

1016 N. Park Avenue
Apopka, FL 32712

7 pm Pinellas The Porch St. Pete

1238 4th St S

St Pete FL

8pm Miami Dade The Caribbean Marketplace

5929 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, Fl 33138

8pm Miami Dade Sak Pase Bar & Grill

27156 S. Dixie Highway, Naranja, FL 33032

7 pm Palm Beach SEIU FPSU

2112 S Congress Ave. #205

West Palm Bch., FL 33406

What to Watch for at the Polls

What to watch for at the polls

Florida is one of the rare states that has recently loosened a restriction on voting: Although its voter ID law remains in place, poll workers may now accept veterans’ health IDs, concealed-carry licenses, and government employee IDs. But the state has not addressed a number of other laws that are not conducive to a smooth election day; trends indicative of problematic practices; and technological deficiencies.

voting-engAs of October 3, Florida’s election officials are facing a new challenge in federal court to a law that permits county canvassing boards to reject mail-in ballots on which a voter’s signature does not match their signature on file—and denies voters any recourse for curing these so-called signature “defects.” County boards threw out hundreds of ballots on this basis during the August 30 primary. Many more ballots will meet a similar fate in November if this law remains in effect, as a record number of voters have already requested mail-in ballots.

Laws governing voter challenges and voter intimidation

This year, Florida does not appear to be engaged in attempts to remove registered voters from their rolls improperly. Most recently, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner abandoned a renewed effort to purge “non-citizens” from the rolls in 2014. He did so just weeks before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit finally affirmed that Gov. Scott’s 2012 purge violated a federal law prohibiting the “systematic” removal of voters from the rolls in the 90 days before an election.

voting-espAccording to guidance from the Florida Division of Elections, any elector or poll watcher can challenge voters in the challenger’s county within 30 days of the election or at the polls, so long as they do so in writing, signing a statutory oath. Challenged voters are permitted to vote provisionally at a minimum but, after doing so, must provide additional evidence of eligibility by 5 p.m. on the second day after the election. Florida has made frivolous registration challenges punishable as a first-degree misdemeanor.

While Florida restricts the number of poll watchers at the polls; requires notification of poll-watcher designations in writing to the supervisor of elections in advance of the election; and bars law enforcement officers from serving as poll watchers, it does not have specific rules regulating poll-watchers’ behavior. Such regulations are an important means of curtailing avenues of interference and intimidation, such as communicating with voters and taking photos of them at the polls. However, state law prohibits acts of voter intimidation, such as “threatening or coercing any person for the purpose of interfering with that person’s right to vote” and “using or threatening to use intimidation or coercion to compel a person to vote or not vote.”

Read Full Report by Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza and Liz Kennedy from Center for American Progress HERE.








We Are Florida! 2016 Campaign and Legislative Session Wrap Up

We Are Florida!

This year, a total of 9 anti-immigrant and anti-refugee bills threatened families in the state of Florida.  It was the  participation and commitment of our members and allies that defeated all 9 bills, and once again led We Are Florida! to victory. Thank you to the thousands of immigrant families, farmworkers, faith leaders, and voters who signed petitions, visited or called their legislators, led local actions and mobilized to Tallahassee to share their stories. We have proven time and time again that when we stand together for what’s right, we are powerful.

We also celebrate the passing of KidCare, which after nearly 10 years of advocating in support, will finally help thousands of  permanent resident children who will no longer have to wait 5 years to  access to health care. We must be cautiously enthusiastic as we await for Governor Scott to sign this bill into law.

We thank Senator Diaz de la Portilla for standing up for our community and stopping these bills from moving in the Senate. We also thank our champions in the House, including Representative Jose Javier Rodriguez, Representative Hazelle Rogers and many others, who stood up in committee meetings and on the House Floor to defend immigrant families and our local governments.

With the legislative session now over, our voter engagement and education programs will launch and gain momentum. We ask for your continuous support as we take on the challenges leading up to November. We have a responsibility to hold our elected officials accountable and to continue to fight for dignity and justice for our loved ones.

We Are Florida! Nou Se Florid! Somos Florida!

We Work, We Vote, We Count!

Nou Travay, Nou Vote, Nou Konte!

Nosotros Trabajamos, Nosotros Votamos, Nosotros Contamos!

We Are Florida!

To see all the pictures from the 2016 We Are Florida! campaign, check out our Facebook Page.

1st Anniversary of In-State Tuition in Florida!

My name is Julio Calderon and I am undocumented. I came to the United States when I was 16 years old, and so, I did not benefit from DACA. I went to Highschool never fully believing that College or University was an opportunity for me.

After I graduated, I worked in construction and found my way to Miami Dade College after a counselor helped me apply. But the catch was that I had to pay out of state tuition.

A year ago today, I attended my first year of University and I found myself struggling to pay thousands of dollars solely on tuition fees.

Then something great happened! Florida passed an in-state tuition to allow local undocumented students like me pay the same tuition as our classmates. That’s me in the picture handing a petition to the Governor’s office to sign this law. It really made a difference.

Like myself, there are so many students out there who still believe that going to a College or University is an impossible dream. That’s why my work at FLIC is to make sure that more undocumented students are informed and know that IT IS POSSIBLE to go to school.

If you want to find out more about how to pay in-state tuition in Florida, visit our in-state tuition page or call our hotline at 1-888-600-5762

Julio Calderón, Youth Organizer of the Florida Immigrant Coalition

In-State Tuition_English

An Open Letter to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina

The Government of the Dominican Republic plans to deport nearly 250,000 Haitian-Dominicans if they weren’t registered by midnight on Wednesday, June 17th.

Hundreds of organizations and individuals have signed an open letter to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina to stop the mass deportation and ethnic cleansing of Haitian-Dominicans NOW! http://bit.ly/HaitianLivesMatter

An Open Letter to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina:

President Danilo Medina
Avenida México
Gazcue, Distrito Nacional
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

President Danilo Medina,

We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the impending mass deportations which are scheduled to take place as early as June 18, 2015. At a minimum, the undersigned urge the Dominican Republic to halt its plan to expel thousands of individuals of Haitian descent, and further urge the citizenship reinstatement of those Dominicans of Haitian descent adversely affected by the Dominican Republic Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling No. 168-13, without the arduous and flawed process laid out in Naturalization Law No. 169-14.

Furthermore, these laws not only violate international laws and conventions, they also create a harmful xenophobic and racist environment against all dark skinned Haitians in the Dominican Republic. The undersigned call on the Dominican Government to take affirmative steps to quell the wave of xenophobia, hatred and violence against people of Haitian descent. Violent acts against individuals of Haitian descent living in the Dominican Republic have been widely reported on, and the international community is gravely concerned about the potential for the deportations to place anyone suspected of being of Haitian descent in danger for their personal safety. The Dominican government should suspend any mass deportations in the absence of transparency regarding the protocols and in light of the disorganization and clear problems inherent in the registration process under Naturalization Law 169-14.

The undersigned are similarly troubled by the lack of proactive response by the Haitian government to advocate on behalf of the Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian nationals impacted by this decision.

Supposedly the 169-14 naturalization law was meant to offer an avenue for those impacted by the 168-13 ruling to “regularize” their status, but in reality that law provides an unrealistic and oppressive path for those affected by 168-13 to re-register their citizenship. The New York Times reported on the difficulties of the regularization process. And as Greg Grandin reports regarding the centers set up by the Dominican government, “The offices are overcrowded, understaffed, and the needed paperwork doesn’t exist (many Dominicans of Haitian descent were born in rural areas, since their parents came to work the sugar fields, with midwifes and not in hospitals, and were therefore never issued birth certificates).”

We are calling upon the Governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, multilateral institutions, the Dominican and Haitian Diaspora, as well as human rights groups,and the global community to take action against this state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of Dominicans of Haitian and Caribbean descent. Specifically, we reiterate our recommendations to the Dominican Government to:

▪ Take all permissible actions to minimize the adverse impact of Constitutional Court ruling No. 168-13
▪ Create a clear path for Dominicans of Haitian descent to regain their citizenship
▪ Stop all mass deportations to Haiti
▪ Afford Haitian Immigrants in the Dominican Republic the rights of due process

We further urge the Haitian government to ensure human rights protections for every Dominican of Haitian descent and its own nationals living in the Dominican Republic.

We thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Organizations and individuals that have signed off:

Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami/Haitian Women of Miami (FANM)
Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC)
Dream Defenders
Black Immigration Network (BIN)
Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
Ferguson Action
Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law (Does not purport to represent the institutional views, if any, of NYU)
Community Justice Project
New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice
Racial Justice NOW!
South Florida Voices for Working Families
South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
Progressive Jewish Action of South Florida
CODEPINK: Women for Peace!
State Representative Daphne Campbell
Nancy Treviño, Community Advocate, Miami, FL
William P Quigley, Professor of Law, Loyola University New Orleans
Krystina François, Community Activist, Miami, FL
Mecca a.k.a. Grimo, Haitian Activist, Miami, FL
Alejandra Lily, Voz Hispana Cambio Comunitario
Elizabeth Taveras, Florida Immigrant Coalition, FL
Mayron Payes, American National Association, SANA
Edwin Argueta, Jobs with Justice, MA
Prospere Charles, 1804 Institute, DC
Salandra Benton, Black Women’s Roundtable, FL
Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group, DC
Ola Osaze, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, CA
Maxime Coles, President Association of the Haitians physicians abroad, KS
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera, WI
Laura Camilo, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, NC
Andy Marte, Georgetown University, NY
Colette Bresilla, Colette B. Studio, MA
Astrid Silva, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, NV
Regine N., BAJI, CA
Pamela Gomez, Dominican Association of Tampa, FL
Andre Peck, Haitian Centers Council, Inc., NY
Marie Lynn Toussaint, Haitian Congress, IL
Marlon Hill, Caribbean Bar Association , FL
Maria Mejia, SEIU, NY
Thanu, New York Immigration Coalition
Lauren Stewart, Solidarity Center, DC
Mary Anne, SEIU 32BJ, PA
Connie de la Vega, Human Rights Advocates, CA
Jennie A. Figueroa, SEIU Florida State Council, FL
Rosario Soto, Family and Community Resources, FL
Maria asuncion Bilbao, United Families, FL
Blaine Bookey, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS), CA
Jeremy Wilson, 32BJ SEIU, FL
Dale Ewart, 1199 SEIU, FL
Joesph, 1199 SEIU, FL
Sarah Davila-Ruhaak, Human Rights Clinic at The John Marshall Law School, FL
Monica Russo, 1199 SEIU, FL
Shirley Pierre-Louis, NY
Ronald Pate, Black Lives Matter – Ottawa Coalition, ON
Diane, Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS)
Michele, Educators Network for Social Justice
Serena Perez, Florida New Majority, FL
Jeena Shah, Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Rutgers School of NJ
Anthony Jordan, NY
Anana Harris Parris, Sister CARE Alliance, GA
Cathleen Caron, Global Workers Justice Alliance,NY
Ricci Woodhull, Sexual Freedom Alliance, DC
Agnes Johnson, NY
Nina Timothy, Dream Defenders, MD
Joetta Jefferson, IL
Jack Dickens, University of South Florida, FL
Claunick Duronville, NY
Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, Racial Justice NOW!, OH
Ernst B Michel, HAPANEF, FL
Jean Mecknic Derisca, FANM, INC., FL
Ejim Dike, US Human Rights Network,GA
David Baluarte, Immigrant Rights Clinic, Washington & Lee University School of Law, VA
Billy Hall, Florida International University, FL
Monica Barberouuse, Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, FL
Audrey Bomse, National Lawyers Guild, FL
Kevin Murray, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, MA
Mrs. Ollie, Attorney at Law, TX
Marie st. Aude, NY
Jonathan Fried, WeCount!, FL
Stephan Edel, NY
Jeffrey L. Edison, National Conference of Black Lawyers, MI
Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy,LA
Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, NY
Educators’ Network for Social Justice, WI
EvanMccrary, CA
Hillary Exter, Fordham Law School, NY
Barbara Olivier, NY
Firelight Media, NY
Ayiti Underground, FL
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, NY
Darius Simpson, MI
Tananarive Due, Dark Dream Productions,CA
Darlene Crumedy, CA
Danielle Robinson,DC
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, MA
Ricci Levy, Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance
Cathleen Caron, Global Workers Justice Alliance
Anana Harris Parris, SisterCARE Alliance
Jeena Shah, Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law
Serena Perez, Florida New Majority
Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
Melanie Willingham-Jaggers
Jeffrey L. Edison, National Conference of Black Lawyers
Jonathan Fried, WeCount!
Ollie, Attorney at Law
Kevin Murray, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy
Audrey Bomse, National Lawyers Guild
Monica Barberouuse, Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami
Billy Hall, Florida International University
David Baluarte, Immigrant Rights Clinic, Washington & Lee University School of L
Ejim Dike, US Human Rights Network
Jean Mecknic Derisca, FANM, INC.
Ernst B Michel, HAPANEF
Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, Racial Justice NOW!
Jack Dickens, University of South Florida
Nina Timothy, Dream Defenders
Kermshlise, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
Tananarive Due, Dark Dream Productions
David, DePaul University
Barry, Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Incorporated
Barry, Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Incorporated
Barry, Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Incorporated
Romy AyitiUnderground
Michele, Educators’ Network for Social Justice
Diane, BDS
Ronald Pate, Black Lives Matter – Ottawa Coalition
Monica Russo, 1199SEIU Florida
Sarah Davila-Ruhaak, International Human Rights Clinic at The John Marshall Law School
Lucio Perez-Reynozo, American Friends Service Committee – Miami Program
Joseph, 1199 SEIU
Dale Ewart, 1199 SEIU
Jeremy Wilson, 32BJ SEIU
Blaine Bookey, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS)
Maria Bilbao, United Families
Steven Forester, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
Elizabeth Taveras, Florida Immigrant Coalition
Rosario Soto, Family and Community Resources
Vladimir, Kote Nou
Nadjejda Chapoteau
Laura Martin, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
Rita, Rj Media
Elisa, University of California Davis
Dadeloune Norelus
Jennie A. Figueroa, SEIU Florida State Council
Connie de la Vega, Human Rights Advocates
Clarise, Soka Gakkai International-USA
Jae, Chancellor Hall, UWI
Stuart, City University of New York Lehman College
Mary Anne, SEIU 32BJ
Unai Montes-Irueste
Anna, Community Activist
Lauren Stewart, Solidarity Center
Thanu Yakupitiyage, New York Immigration Coalition
Arissa, BYP 100
Maria Mejia, SEIU
Marlon Hill, Caribbean Bar Association
Marie Lynn Toussaint, Haitian Congress
Kenol, Federation des Associations Regionales Haitiennes de la Diaspora
National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities
Andre Peck, Haitian Centers Council, Inc.
Pamela Gomez, Dominican Association of Tampa
Francine Sheran, SEIU
Regine N., Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Astrid Silva, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
Colette Bresilla, Colette B. Studio
Andy Marte, Georgetown University
Laura Camilo, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera
Urban Justice Center
Maxime coles, President Association of the Haitians physicians abroad
Ola Osaze, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group
Nyasha Grayman-Simpson, Durango Unido en Chicago
Salandra Benton, Black Women’s Roundtable
Greater NYC for Change
Nunotte, Roxbury Community College
Rita, Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
Cindy, Concerned Global Citizen
Andrea Leon-Grossmann
Prospere Charles, 1804 Insttitute
Edwin Argueta, Jobs with Justice
Mayron Payes, Salvadoran American National Association, SANA
Alejandra Lily, Voz Hispana Cambio Comunitario
Alejandra Lily, Voz Hispana Cambio Comunitario
Candice, The Davis Bozeman Law Firm
Amy Selvius, Community Activist, AFSCME
Lydia, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Luis, Long island hispanic soccer federation
Aysha, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Rufaro Gwarada, Priority Africa Network
Archangelo Joseph, Organic-way Mathematics Consulting
Soeurette Michel, Michel Law Firm
William Minter, AfricaFocus Bulletin
Patrick, Haitian-American Professional Network
Raynald Louis, Radio Kajou
Luis Ojeda, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
Robbie, Causa Justa:: Just Cause
Marie Josee, Midwest Association of Haitian American Women
Kervins Duval, Office of San Francisco Supervisor David Campos
Gerald, Priority Africa Network
Nicole, UNITE HERE Local 2850
Jude Azard, Broward Human Trafficking Coalition
Phillip, Hazen Foundation
Dante, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
Raymond Lee Eurquhart, Southside Neighborhood Association of Durham
Jean Dominique, Haitian American Association of Brevard
Deborah Gaffaney, Greater NY for Change
Kerlens, Alliance Saint Martial
Emilio Garcia, C. L. S
Kim, Noise Runs
Maria Elena Durazo, UNITE HERE!
Meizhu Lui, Board, Highlander Center Research and Education Center
Jon, California Immigrant Policy Center
Azadeh Shahshahani, National Lawyers Guild
Ruth Jeannoel, Power U Center for Social Change
Idler, Haitian American Association of Brevard
Hiram Rivera, Philadelphia Student Union
Rachel, 32BJ
Chris Getowicz, Students for a Democratic Society
Stephen, Spectacular Sound
Stephanie, Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia
Alfonso Maciel, Teamster/CWA
Sevigne, Haitian American Professional Coalition
Marie Fonrose, MCCC
Anne-Kenya Dubuisson
Gesner Jean Philippe, HAPANEF
Vanessa Bernadotte, Florida Coastal School of Law
Jacques, Haitian Diaspora Advocacy Group
Rev. Dieufort J Fleurissaint, Haitian American United of Massachussetts
Ivette Cabrera, Viophilia
Arturo J. Carrillo, GW Law School
Carmel Joseph, Catholic Legal Services
Alcide, Human Race
Sara, HELO Haiti
Elisabeth Kennedy, HELO Haiti
Adrian Madriz, Miami Workers Center
Saranah Holmes, RFK human rights
Natalie Kelly, Unite Here
Jean-Claude Lebrun, MOÏSE
Stephanie Louidor, Leap of Hope Foundation
Wendy Chambers, University of Florida
Idalin Abby, Hands Up United
Sara Mersha, Grassroots International
Onyinye Alheri, Public Health Institute
Rachel Laforest, Right To The City Alliance
Marilyn Fetterhoff, Concerned citizens of US
Cassy Pierre, Catholic Legal Services
Gepsie Metellus, Haitian Neighborhood Center, Sant La
Marjorie Lozama, HAPC
Damian De Lein, Official Logic Enterprizes
Isabel Vinent, Palm Beach County Coalition for Immigrant Rights
Yolanda Avula, Red MX
Jacques Leblanc, Haitian American Community Association
Raul Hernandez, Catholic Legal Services of the Archdiocese of Miami
Javier Silva, San Diego Dream Team
Anne Pierre, SEIU
Tatiana Bacchus, Teaspoon & Pound Media
Miriam Mejia, Coalición dominicana en contra del racismo.
Saurav Sarkar, South Asia Labor Watch
Naim Edwards,Voices for Earth Justice
Nancy Gold, Grassroots International
Nancy Romer, Brooklyn College
Stephen Bartlett, Agricultural Missions, Inc
Michael Leon Guerrero, Climate Justice Alliance
Rae Breaux, Rising Tide North America
Vanessa Ramos, Asociación Americana de Juristas
Vanessa Urbina
Domingo Pena, PRM- Human Rights Commitee Bronx
Deborah Castro, Feminism Is For Everyone, Miami
Rosie Hinnebush, NLG; Amnesty International
Carline Desire, Association of Haitian Women in Boston
Agnes Ferguson, 1199SEIU
Ozella Brundidge, Jeanette’s House of Refuge
Antoinette William-Tutt
Maribel, Acción Afro-Dominicana
Adrienne Cabout, Black Lives Matter Portland
Daniel Barajas, Young American Dreamers
Marcia Soto, Durango Unido en Chicago
Haiti Action Committee
Paul De Lyrot, Cardow Jewlers
Saina Behnejad, Amnesty International FSU
Giles Charleston, Association of Haitian Professionals (AHP)
Melody Powers, Bay Area Black United Fund
J. Patrick Cherestal, Association of Haitian Professionals
Dale Corvino, Greater NYC for Change
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
Nattacha Wyllie, Haitian American Art Network, Inc.
Wilma Tamayo, Feerick Center for Social Jusitce of Fordham Law School
Marley Pulido, Centreville Labor Resource Center
Jacky Chery, United Haitians Living Abroad
Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau
Elizabeth Yeampierre, UPROSE
Antonia Edwards, Feerick Center for Social Jusitce of Fordham Law School
Cheryl Little, Americans for Immigrant Justice
Jacki Rand, University of Iowa
Jean-Robert Emanual, AHP
Melanie Cool, Manje Mirak Inc.
Casey Llewellyn, Criminal Justice Initiative
Gemma Solimene, Clinical Associate Professor of Law Fordham University
Dr. Howard Ehmran
Dr. Jemima Pierre
Stephanie Garry Garfunkel, U.S. Peace Corps
Levis Torres, We Count!
Jose Luis Giuterriez, NALACC
Dominique Hernandez, NYS youth leadership council
Angela Sanbrano, Red Mexicana
Samantha Jacob, Miami-Dade County
Chris Iberle, Community Alliance for Global Justice
Isidoro Quezafa, The farmworkers association of florida inc.
Jack Leiberman, South Florida Progressive Jewish Action
Adonis Flores, Michigan United
Black Youth Project 100
Francois Adrien, pikliz.com
Haitian Empowerment Gina Cheron
Gepsie Metellus, Haitian Neighborhood Center, Sant La

[MPI] Immigrant and Refugee Workers in the Early Childhood Field: Taking a Closer Look


MPI ECEC Report_Release 1As Young Child Population Is Increasingly Diverse in U.S. and Florida, Early Childhood Field Faces Urgent Need to Improve Workforce’s Linguistic & Cultural Competence


Extensive research shows that high-quality early learning experiences are critical to children’s healthy development and academic success. Immigrant-origin children, particularly those who speak a language other than English at home, stand to benefit especially from high-quality early learning experiences—yet are enrolled at lower rates in pre-kindergarten than their peers with U.S.-born parents.


The dramatic growth in young child-population diversity, with a doubling of those with an immigrant parent from 2.9 million in 1990 nationally to 5.8 million currently, has been accompanied by increasing diversity in the ECEC workforce.


Yet, this new report from the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy finds that immigrants, and the linguistic and cultural diversity they bring to the ECEC workforce, are highly over-represented in the lowest-skilled and lowest-paid sectors of the profession. Though representing nearly one-fifth of the 1.8 million early-childhood workforce nationally, immigrants hold few leadership positions in child-care centers or as pre-kindergarten teachers, and are overwhelmingly concentrated in private home- or family-based programs that are largely in the informal sector. In Florida, immigrants account for nearly 26 percent of the ECEC workforce, with their numbers rising by 258 percent since 1990.

The report also suggests options for increasing the field’s “abysmally” low wages and urges improved data collection on young children’s home languages and Dual Language Learner (DLL) status. “Policymakers have a prime opportunity to achieve two-generation gains through mutually reinforcing policies that set high standards for meeting the needs of young children from immigrant families while also providing educational opportunities that allow immigrant early childhood education workers to advance in the field,” said Maki Park, an MPI policy analyst and a report co-author.


Licencias de conducir y KidCare son prioridad para las familias inmigrantes de la Florida durante esta sesión legislativa
Gov Scott, State of the State Address, 2015Hoy, martes 3 de marzo, la Legislatura de la Florida dio inicio a su sesión de 60 días para el 2015. El gobernador Rick Scott hizo su discurso sobre el “estado del estado” centrándose en la idea de que la Florida es el estado donde todos deberían tener la oportunidad de perseguir sus sueños.
En su discurso , el gobernador Scott contó la historia de Gladys Rubio, una inmigrante cubana que llegó a Florida en busca de una vida mejor y ahora es una meteorólogo exitosa. Al igual que Gladys, miles de inmigrantes han llegado a la Florida persiguiendo sus sueños y dispuestos a trabajar duro para hacerlos realidad si se les da una oportunidad.
Por ese motivo, exhortamos a la legislatura de la Florida para que apruebe una ley que permita que todos los potenciales conductores puedan solicitar una licencia de conducir, independientemente de su condición migratoria, y una ley para que todos los niños que son residentes permanentes legales puedan tener acceso a la salud a través del programa KidCare sin tener que esperar 5 años sin seguro y sin protección.
¿Qué hubiera pasado si Gladys Rubio no hubiera tenido la oportunidad de trabajar legalmente y de solicitar una licencia de conducir? ¿O si sus hijos no hubieran tenidos acceso a atención médica de calidad? Por desgracia, esa es la realidad de 730,000 floridanos indocumentados quienes actualmente no pueden solicitar una licencia de conducir debido a su estatus migratorio, y la realidad de más de 20.000 niños con estatus legal en la Florida que tienen que esperar 5 años antes de ser cubiertos por el programa KidCare.
Florida's Attorney General, Pam Bondi Instamos a la administración del gobernador Scott que apoye estas medidas, en lugar de darle la espalda a las familias inmigrantes como lo hizo su propia Fiscal General Pam Bondi cuando sumó a la Florida a una demanda en contra de DAPA y DACA. Estos dos programas podrían detener la deportación de 253 mil floridanos y otorgarles permisos de trabajo temporales. Con esta demanda, Bondi está rompiendo la promesa de Scott de “mantener a la Florida trabajando” (Keep Florida Working) al negar permisos de trabajo para los trabajadores que sostienen nuestros sectores económicos mas importantes como lo son la agricultura y el turismo. Se estima que más de la mitad de los campesinos de la Florida son indocumentados.
Si nuestra legislatura y Scott necesitan argumentos más convincentes, los números son indiscutibles. Si la Florida se convierte en el estado número 12 en permitir que todos los conductores potenciales soliciten licencias de conducir, podría aumentar sus ingresos en $8.76 millones al año (estimando que solo la mitad de la población indocumentada solicite una licencia). Nuestro estado también podrá recibir $49 millones de dólares de fondos federales para cubrir Kidcare. Por último, la Florida podría aumentar sus ingresos fiscales con $102 millones dólares en 5 años si DAPA y DACA se implementan.


Driver’s Licenses and KidCare are among the priorities for Florida’s immigrant families during this legislative session

Gov Scott, State of the State Address, 2015Today, March 3rd, the Florida Legislature kicked-off its 60-day session for 2015. Governor Rick Scott delivered the State of the State Address focusing on Florida being the state where everyone should have the opportunity to chase their dreams.

Governor Scott told the story of Gladys Rubio, a Cuban immigrant that came to Florida for a better life and is now a successful meteorologist.  Just like Gladys, thousands of immigrants have come to Florida chasing their dreams and willing to work hard for them if they are given an opportunity.

For that reason, we call on the Florida legislature to pass legislation that will allow all potential driver’s to apply for a Driver’s License regardless of their immigration status, and for all children who are legal permanent residents to have access to health care through the KidCare program without having to wait 5 years uninsured and unprotected.

What if Gladys Rubio hadn’t had the opportunity to work legally and apply for a driver’s license? Or if her children didn’t have access to quality health care? Unfortunately, that’s the reality of 730,000 undocumented Floridians who cannot apply for a license because of their immigration status, and the reality of over 20,000 children with legal status in Florida who have to wait 5 years before being covered by KidCare.

Florida's Attorney General, Pam Bondi We urge Governor Scott’s administration to support these measures, instead of turning his back on immigrant families just like his own Attorney General Pam Bondi did after she added Florida to a lawsuit against DAPA and DACA. These programs would grant relief from deportation and temporary work permits to 253,000 immigrant Floridians. With this lawsuit, Bondi is breaking Scott’s promise to “keep Florida working” by denying access to temporary work permits for the workers that sustain our main economic sectors, agriculture and tourism. It is estimated that more than half of Florida’s farmworkers are undocumented. If our legislature and Scott need more convincing arguments, numbers won’t lie.

If Florida becomes the 12th state to allow driver’s licenses to potential drivers, it could increase its revenue by an additional $8.76 million annually if half of the undocumented population applies for a license. Our state could also draw up to $49 million from federal funds to cover for Kidcare. Finally, Florida could increase its tax revenues by $102 million over 5 years if DAPA and DACA are implemented.

Pam Bondi quiere que deporten a mi mamá. Ayúdanos!



JOSE Palacio AND MOMMi nombre es José Palacios. Vine a Tampa, FL, hace 18 años, cuando era sólo un niño.

A pesar de que mi mamá trabajó muy duro para asegurarse de que tuviésemos todo lo que necesitábamos, desde hace muchos años hemos vivido con el temor de ser deportados.

Mi vida cambió cuando Obama anunció DACA hace dos años, un alivio para los jóvenes inmigrantes como yo. Ahora, lo mismo le puede suceder a mi mamá con DAPA, un alivio para los padres. Si ella lo consigue, podrá hacer realidad su sueño de iniciar su propio negocio.

Pero en lugar de dejar que mi mamá contribuya a nuestro estado, nuestra Fiscal General Pam Bondi está demandando a los programas de alivio de Obama!

Ayúdame a decirle a Pam Bondi: ¿por qué quiere deportar a mi mamá y separar miles de familias inmigrantes en la Florida?

La Fiscal Bondi añadió el nombre de Florida a una demanda en contra de los programas DAPA y DACA. Y esta semana, un juez en Texas falló en contra de los programas del presidente y en contra de mi mamá.

Pam Bondi también vivió y creció en Tampa. ¿Por qué esta más interesada ​en cerrarle la puerta a mi mamá que en darle la oportunidad de contribuir a nuestra ciudad y nuestro estado?

Haz clic aquí para decirle a la Fiscal Pam Bondi que los inmigrantes trabajadores deben ser recibidos en la Florida, no atacados por la política!