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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 

MAY DAY – Join Us and Stand Against Hate and Racism

May 1st marks the International Workers’ Day, a historic day when workers and migrants join forces to demand dignity and justice. We must come together now more than ever and stand up to the hateful rhetoric spreading across our nation. A multiracial coalition of immigrant rights organizations, faith leaders, labor unions and local activists and artists are organizing a rally and march in Miami and we encourage all members to participate. Details for the May Day March in Miami event can be found below.
Are you having a local event on May 1st that FLIC can support?

Are you interested in attending the Miami May 1st event?

Please let us know of any May Day events around you so we can provide support or coordinate travel arraignments for those interested in attending the Miami event.


Miami Rally and March

Sunday, May 1st from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
March starts at Government Center (111 NW First Street Miami, Florida 33128) and ends at the Torch of Friendship (401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

MAYDAY flyer ENG


El 1ro de Mayo marca el Día Internacional de los Trabajadores, un día histórico en el que trabajadores y migrantes se unen para exigir dignidad y justicia. Debemos unirnos ahora más que nunca y levantarnos en contra de la retórica de odio que actualmente está contaminando  nuestra nación . Una coalición multirracial de organizaciones Incluyendo grupos pro inmigrantes, líderes religiosos, sindicatos, activistas locales y artistas están organizando una manifestación y marcha en Miami e invitamos a todos los miembros a participar. Los detalles de la Marcha del Día del Trabajador en Miami pueden ser encontrados en la parte de abajo de este correo electrónico.

¿Tienes un evento local el 1 de mayo que FLIC puede apoyar?

¿Estás interesado en asistir a la Marcha de 1ro de Mayo en Miami?

Por favor déjenos saber de cualquier evento del Primero de Mayo alrededor de su área para que podamos ofrecer apoyo o coordinar viajes para las personas interesadas en asistir a el evento de Miami.

Manifestación y Marcha en Miami
Domingo, 1ro de Mayo de 2:00 a 4:00 p.m.
La Marcha empezara en el Government Center (111 NW First Street Miami, Florida 33128) y terminará en la Antorcha de la Amistad (401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

MAYDAY flyer SPA

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.

Clases de inglés en Homestead: Oficina abierta para inscripciones

Unete a nuestro programa de innovaciones en inglés que usa tecnología para enseñar inglés de una manera divertida.

Cada participante usará una tablet conectada a internet para usar practicar inglés mientras aprenden a usar Skype, Facebook, correo electrónico, etc.

INSCRIBETE YA!
Ven a inscribirte en nuestra oficina abierta el miércoles 26 de agosto en la sede de RCMA en South Dade (13600 SW 312 Street, Homestead, FL 33033).

Si no puedes venir a inscribirte, llama al (305) 571-7254 o inscríbete online acá: http://goo.gl/forms/0FdJWqbwW6

Las clases duran 10 semanas y serán en la oficina de RCMA en Homestead.

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

GOVERNOR SCOTT, FLORIDA’S IMMIGRANT FAMILIES WANT TO CHASE THEIR DREAMS TOO

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.

We Stand Together—Black and Brown—for the Youth in Chicago and Central America

Last week The Root’s Keli Goff wrote about the child refugees fleeing violence and poverty in Central America and seeking refuge at our border. Unfortunately, she argued that we shouldn’t protect these brown children, and supports deporting them—while claiming that we have our own black children to care about first, citing recent violence in the streets of Chicago.

An immigration-reform supporter marches in the Rally for Citizenship on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on April 10, 2013.  SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGESWell, we are those black and brown children she’s talking about.
One of us—Phillip—grew up in the same Chicago that Goff says she wants to protect, while the other—Isabel—is a young immigrant who came to this country as an undocumented child fleeing violence in Colombia. And in our life journeys seeking justice for all young people, we have committed ourselves to building united social movements that fervently proclaim, “Our lives matter.”
Every one of our lives matters, whether we are black, white or brown, queer or straight; whether we crossed the border or our ancestors came here as indentured servants or on slave ships.
We reject the notion that black lives should matter to our president and policymakers while the lives of the unaccompanied child refugees fleeing devastation in Central America shouldn’t. Because in both cases, they’re surviving or fleeing violence rooted in our own failed policies, like the so-called war on drugs.
In fact, young people across this country are suffering because most of our politicians do not act as if any of our lives matter. If they did, education would be a primary investment over the failed foreign and domestic policies that have only contributed to our criminalization. If our lives mattered, America’s immigration policy would prioritize family safety and unity instead of prioritizing border militarization and profits for the private prison industry.
In the 1980s, families fleeing Central American civil wars between guerrillas and U.S.-backed dictators landed in cities like Los Angeles. Youths who had just witnessed the horrors of war in their home countries now faced the reality of America’s streets during the height of the war on drugs. Many joined gangs feeling that they had no other recourse to protect themselves.
Instead of being treated as if their lives and their trauma mattered, these young people were deported back to countries where the only people they knew were other young gang members. As a number of researchers have observed, the U.S. deportation regime helped turn two small street gangs started by young refugees into transnational criminal organizations operating across Central America with partners in the U.S., eventually creating the ripples of refugees we continue to see today.
The story of young African Americans on the South Side of Chicago is not that different. Since the early 1900s, black families had fled the lynching and racial violence of the Jim Crow South, only to be met with redlining, unemployment and refined racial segregation in Chicago. Without adequate jobs and political power, many young people who had witnessed the horrors of Jim Crow also began forming gangs to protect themselves from the violence of a society that continued to degrade them as either criminal or cheap labor.
Instead of being offered adequate education and opportunities to thrive, these young people were subject to mass incarceration. The criminal justice system, also fueled by the war on drugs, turned Chicago’s small street gangs into national organizations by releasing inmates into a society with no adequate infrastructure for their reintegration and rehabilitation.
Both of these groups—and the youth across this nation—rely on policymakers and our president to prove to them that their lives do, in fact, matter.
And as José Luis Vilson, writing for The Rootalso noted last week, deporting child refugees who are victims of the same failed policies will never reopen even one of the 50 schools that the president’s former chief of staff, and current Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel has closed. Believing this lie only caters to the whims of pandering politicians.
As young people who have grown tired of politicians pitting us against each other, we stand together here in Florida to build up our collective power. Our communities are not pawns to be picked up and maneuvered whenever it fits political strategy. Our work and our vision are not anchored to the politics of scarcity that are perpetuated by those who live in abundance.
We will not be divided. We will continue fighting together—from Chicago’s South Side to the Gaza Strip to Central America’s Northern Triangle—holding accountable all who help to line the pockets of those who profit from our suffering.
Phillip Agnew is executive director of Dream Defenders and Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez is youth organizer for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.
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April 6: Miami Marches to Say Yes to Immigration Reform NOW!

Saturday, April 6th, thousands of South Floridians will march in Miami to a new immigration system with a real and inclusive path to citizenship that keeps our families together.

The march will start at 12pm in Little Havana’s José Martí Park (362 SW 4th Ave, Miami, FL 33130) and will end at the Torch of Friendship in Bayfront Park. See map here

Join us! Confirm via Facebook 

Time is Now!12:00 p.m. Concentration at Jose Marti Park. Main speakers include Miami Archbishop Wenski and City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado

1:00 p.m. March (see map of the march route)

2:00 p.m. Estimated arrival at Torch of Friendship, Bayfront Park

2:30 p.m. Symbolic Naturalization Ceremony

3:00 p.m. Closing with live music: Bachaco, Kuyayky

Florida Caravan takes the Calle 8 Festival in Miami!

The Caravan for Immigration Reform “Making the Road to Citizenship” arrives in Miami for its grand finale at the Calle 8 Festival, to raise awareness about the importance of having an immigration reform that provides a real path to citizenship and that keeps families together.

Join us! Don’t forget to bring an orange or white t-shirt!

FL Caravan takes the Calle 8 Festival!

The Florida Caravan started on March 1st in Orlando and Haines City, and traveled through Tampa, Immokalee, West Palm Beach and many other cities. It is part of the National Bus Tour “Keeping Families Together” that is taking place in 19 states and over 90 cities.

After 10 days on the road throughout different parts of Florida (see pictures), the caravan riders will join hundreds of Latinos and other community members on a march through Little Havana that will end at the street festival.

We will call on Senator Rubio and all Members of Congress to say yes to a path to citizenship. We will also invite personalities and artists in the Latino community such as Willy Chirino, Elvis Crespo and others to join their fans in saying yes to immigration reform.

This is an initiative of the Say Yes campaign, a coalition of community and immigrant rights organizations working for a new immigration system that provides a real path to citizenship and keeps Florida’s families together.