For Immediate release: Apr 06, 2023

Immigrant Neighbor Solidarity Rally in Miami Calls to Fight Back against DeSantis’ Inhumane Anti-Immigrant Legislation

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Immigrant Neighbor Solidarity Rally in Miami Calls to Fight Back against DeSantis’ Inhumane Anti-Immigrant Legislation

MIAMI – On Wednesday, April 5th, Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), in collaboration with Florida Rising and other grassroots organizations, did a day of action in South Florida, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Central Florida, and Hillsborough to fight back against inhumane, anti-immigration policies and practices impacting 4.3 million Floridians. 

Lawmakers in Tallahassee are discussing legislation (HB 1617 / SB 1718) that may destroy what Florida is for 4.3 million refugees and immigrants from around the world – specifically countries throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America. For over half a century, the Sunshine State has thrived as the land of hope, liberty, and possibilities for countless migrants searching for economic opportunity, democracy, and safety. So much so one in five residents in Florida are immigrants, making Florida one of the most densely populated immigrant states, with 57.4% of immigrants identifying as Hispanic or Latino.

Alejandra Rondón, Florida Rising’s Latinx Constituency Manager, says the immigration bills in Tallahassee are “... just another example of the fascism ingrained in DeSantis’ political platform. Immigrants are scapegoats of GOP disdain and lack of empathy for our communities.”

Rondón continues, “If legislators pass HB1617/SB1718, DeSantis and his allies would become the most anti-immigrant elected officials in the last twenty years. Their legislation is aimed at cracking down on undocumented folks and hard-working families, creating an environment of fear and persecution, where an entire population is considered not only a burden for the state but a bunch of criminals who do not deserve any help or benefit from the government.”

Speakers highlighted how these bills which demonize communities and pit Floridians against one another make all of us less safe in the long run.

“The freedom to migrate remains a fundamental human right. This is a country built by immigrants, we hear time and time again. However, our politicians seem to remember it according to the moment and their convenience. That is why today I want to remind you that we live in a State that is sustai2ned thanks to the contribution of many of these people; let us not forget that supermarkets are filled with the efforts of many undocumented immigrants who often work from sun to sun in conditions of slavery in the Florida farms. We are here precisely to show our rejection of the latest measures of our legislators on these anti-immigration bills.,” stated Sonia Moreno with Florida Immigrant Coalition. 

As legislators consider these bills, attendees reminded them that their constituents are watching and are ready to advocate against their unjust actions.

“I am encouraging our elected Florida state legislators to vote “No” on State Senate Bill SB-1718, and on State House Bill SB-1617. When elected officials such as myself take the Oath of Office, and swear to uphold the rights, dignity, well-being and interests of our constituents and their communities, we cannot then turn around and support legislation that divides and invalidates entire sections of our society. This legislation fingers them and singles them out for deportation threats and denial of basic services. This is particularly harmful to our mix-status families, of which we have a very large number of in the Municipality that I preside over. We must think of our joint community and economy in Florida, today and in the future, and how such a racist law will have a negative impact on both,” advised Samson Borgelin,  Mayor of North Lauderdale, Florida.

Krizia Lopez Arce