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5 Years of DACA and the Future of TPS

Courtesy: Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami

Last week marked the five-year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, which grants protection from deportation to many young immigrants.  In the five years since the announcement of DACA, an estimated 95% of DACA youth and young adults  are either working or attending school, contributing to their local communities and the economy.

On Thursday, the White House announced it would continue to leave the program untouched, maintaining the existing protections from deportation for nearly 800,000 “DREAMers.” While we at the Florida Immigrant Coalition celebrate the news that these young people are receiving the security that should be afforded to them, we remain highly vigilant of our Haitian brothers and sisters who have not been afforded these similar and necessary protections.

Temporary Protective Status (TPS) grants individuals hailing from certain designated countries struck by natural disasters or armed conflict, such as Haiti, with authorization to remain legally in the United States. More than 58,000 Haitians are members of the program, after a disastrous earthquake ravished the island in 2011. TPS allows for recipients to remain in the U.S. with valid work permits until the unrest in their country of origin abates.

While TPS extensions are normally offered for 18 months, the Trump administration disappointingly took the unprecedented step to shorten the duration of their protected status for only another six months. This six-month extension is not enough. The country is currently facing the worst cholera epidemic in the world, with about 40,000 people living in tent homes and makeshift shelters, while facing steep economic and political turmoil.

We encourage the administration to acknowledge the unrealistic term given to Haitian recipients, who are working and making a tangible contribution to our community and economy. Furthermore, we recognize that DACA and TPS fail to provide a plan toward legal integration of these communities to the this country where they have invested so much of their lives, skills, and dreams. True comprehensive immigration reform should comprise a pathway for these communities to realize their full potential as they advance toward citizenship.

Speak to your federal representative today and ask them what they are doing to #SaveTPS 202-224-3121.

Two Years of Success: In-State Tuition

 

Daniela Donoso“I was born in Ecuador and came at the age of 6. I didn’t know I was undocumented until my parents talked to us (my brother and I) and they told us we might not go to college. At Florida State, the tuition difference is around 6,500 for in state students, for out of staters is can be almost 22 thousand. I just graduated from Florida State University and i’M a clear example on what undocumented students can do when given the opportunity with policies like In-State tuition.”

-Daniela Donoso

 

Sergio Gomez“I am Sergio Gomez, a sophomore at Florida State University, a Finance major, and an immigrant from Bogotá, Colombia. Having been moved to the United States at the tender age of three, I have grown up an American while still retaining a humble perspective on the opportunities my new home has provided with. But I must say what really compels me to be grateful for every little opportunity that I’m handed is the fear that it might all be taken away. As much as I want America to be a permanent part of my life, I am not a citizen or even a permanent resident. Unfortunately my family and I have been denied our legal status here in the United States. We took an honest path of immigration, got our required visas, never once broke a law (not even a traffic infraction), and have been productive members of society. I’m currently attending the Florida State University. Paying out of pocket is challenging enough but without in-state tuition my dreams of graduating as a seminole from FSU would never be realized.”  

– Sergio Gomez

 

 

Mariana Castro

“I came to Florida from Peru with my parents when I was 10 years old. I graduated in the top 10% of my high school class and was awarded a Bright Futures Scholarship. And then it was taken away because I’m an undocumented student. With the Bright Futures Scholarship and in-state tuition, I’d only have to pay approximately $3,000 for tuition each semester at UF instead of the estimated $6,000. According to UF’s website, out-of-state undergraduate students “should add $22,278 to projected tuition/fees” for the 2014-15 school year. I never thought College was a possibility, but thanks to In-State tuition, now is a reality.

-Mariana Castro

 

Julio Calderon

“I came to the United States at the age of 16, from Honduras. I never believed college was an option so I never really applied to any institution while in High School. I started at Miami Dade College because they gave me the opportunity to attend there while undocumented. I had to pay the out-of-State fee which made it impossible for me to graduate within two years, but eventually I did. While going to FIU I realized the Out-of-State tuition was almost impossible to pay so I started taking only one class. When the In-State tuition passed, then a full time enrollment for undocumented students changed from 7,500 to 2,500. It made it easier for many of us to attend and graduate faster.” -Julio Calderon 

Pam Bondi wants to deport my mom. Can you help us?

SIGN THE PETITION!

JOSE Palacio AND MOMMy name is Jose Palacios. I came to Tampa, FL, 18 years ago when I was only a boy.

Even though my mom worked very hard to make sure we had everything we needed, for many years we have lived in fear of being deported.

My life changed when Obama announced DACA two years ago, a relief for young immigrants like me. Now the same can happen for my mom with DAPA, a relief for parents. If she gets it, she can live out her dream of starting her own business.

But instead of letting my mom contribute to our state, our Attorney General Pam Bondi is suing Obama’s relief programs!

Join me in telling Pam Bondi: Why do you want to deport my mom and separate thousands of immigrant families in Florida?

AG Pam Bondi added Florida’s name to a lawsuit against DAPA and DACA. And last week, a judge in Texas ruled against the President’s programs and my mom.

Why is Pam Bondi, who grew up in the same city we live in, more interested in slamming the doors shut on my mom than giving her a chance to contribute?

Click here to tell AG Bondi that hardworking immigrants should be welcomed by Florida, not attacked out of politics!