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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


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


Florida: The State of our Communities

Floridians Respond to the State of our Union Talking About The State Of Our Communities

On Tuesday, January 28th, Floridians hosted a “People’s State of the Union” event in Miami and a statewide twitter forum to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address and ask Florida’s diverse communities if the SOTU spoke to the issues that they care the most about. The issues that the crowd paid closest attention to included immigration, minimum wage and health care.

Dozens of immigrant families, low-income workers, youth and other community groups and members joined the Florida Immigrant Coalition and 1Miami in Little Havana, while over many more Floridians joined the conversation online using the hashtag #pplsSOTU.

“The President spent barely 30 seconds talking about Immigration Reform, the issue that affects 11 million lives and that matters the most for 53 million Latinos,” said Jonathan Fried, Executive Director from WeCount! “Once again, President Obama mentioned he supports immigration reform, but talking won’t keep our families together when they are being separated every day. The President can prove that he truly cares about our families by stopping the deportation of our family members now and easing our communities’ suffering. Otherwise he will still be known in our communities as the deporter-in-chief.”

Participants in Miami and online took this opportunity to talk about the real issues that affect all hard-working families in Florida, such as an unfair minimum wage, not having access to Medicaid and proper health care.

We feel that our politicians do not understand the real state of our communities; they live very far from the realities that our communities face,” said a participant in the crowd.

We know that the state of our communities won’t improve until our local Government also takes action. Our Governor is literally sitting on billions of federal dollars that can build our economy, create jobs and save lives by allowing Florida to expand health care,” said Eric Brakken, Director for 1Miami. “Our State Legislature is also letting the broken immigration system crush our students’ future and make our roads unsafe. They can act now to save lives and secure our future by expanding Medicaid, granting in-state tuition to DREAMers and allowing immigrant parents and workers to drive. Our local elected officials are as responsible as the Federal Government for fixing what’s broken.”

Univision: “We will work until there is Immigration Reform”

On the 3rd day of our South Florida Throwdown, a Community Meeting on Immigration Reform was held to discuss the current state of immigration reform, the context of immigration in the U.S., and the work community organizations are doing to ensure a reform that works for our families.

Visit the Univision Website


Univision: Canvassing for Immigration Reform

Univision broadcasts a Spanish-language video of our canvassing action at homes and small businesses in Mario-Diaz Balart’s district of Sweetwater on Day 2 of our South Florida Throwdown.

FLIC and our allies took to Sweetwater to demand the Mario Diaz Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen take concrete actions to move Immigration Reform with a path to citizenship forward.

Visit the Univision website 

Palm Beach Post: Immigration reform advocates target Rooney with demonstration at Palm Beach Kennel Club

Blanca Morena, left, of Apopka, and David Benson, right, of Dade City, participate in a rally outside of Representative Tom Rooney's business, the Kennel Club, in support of immigration reform on Tuesday, August 14, 2013. Morena and Benson are part of the Remember November Farmworker Caravan that has been visiting the home offices of congressmen in 27 districts in Florida during the month of August. (Madeline Gray/The Pam Beach Post)

Blanca Morena, left, of Apopka, and David Benson, right, of Dade City, participate in a rally outside of Representative Tom Rooney’s business, the Kennel Club, in support of immigration reform on Tuesday, August 14, 2013. Morena and Benson are part of the Remember November Farmworker Caravan that has been visiting the home offices of congressmen in 27 districts in Florida during the month of August. (Madeline Gray/The Pam Beach Post)


WEST PALM BEACH — Immigration reform advocates targeted U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, on Wednesday by demonstrating 60 miles outside his district at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, the dog track owned by the Rooney family.

It was part of a “Remember In November Farmworker Caravan” traveling Florida during the August congressional recess to urge House members to support a Senate bill to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are now in the country illegally. Rooney does not support the sweeping Senate bill and favors smaller bills aimed at increasing border security and creating a guest worker program for farm laborers, Rooney spokesman Michael Mahaffey said.

As for the demonstrators’ choice of the Kennel Club at Belvedere Road and Congress Avenue, Mahaffey said, “It’s his brother’s business. He doesn’t have a role there. He doesn’t draw a salary. There’s partial ownership by a trust that his kids are the beneficiaries of.”

The Kennel Club’s president is state Rep. Pat Rooney Jr., R-West Palm Beach, who is Tom Rooney’s older brother. According to his financial disclosure report, Tom Rooney owns an interest valued at between $50,000 and $100,000 in a trust that owns stock in Investment Corporation of Palm Beach, which owns the dog track.

“That is his family’s business…He gets profits from it,” said Afifa Khaliq, of the Service Employees International Union, which helped organize the demonstration. In addition to supporting immigration reform, SEIU wanted to show opposition to cuts in federal spending. The issues are related, Khaliq said, because both are “gambling with the people’s future.”

At 5:30 p.m., 16 people from the two groups stood along Congress Avenue waving signs at cars.

Before the Kennel Club event, four members of the immigration caravan stopped by the Palm Beach Gardens office of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, to meet with Murphy staffers. Murphy supports the Senate bill.

Tirso Moreno of the Farmworker Association of Florida said he hopes Rooney will eventually support a pathway to citizenship.

“We hope that he can be in favor of immigration reform. He comes from a very agricultural kind of district,” said Moreno, who said the guest-worker reforms Rooney favors would be “improvements,” but fall short of what reformers want.

“We’re not willing to compromise on a path to citizenship,” said Jose Amateco of a group called Farmworkers Self-Help. “We believe that farmworkers have contributed to this country already. They’ve been part of the economy, the agriculture economy, the tourism industry, the construction industry. So we believe they have made this country better….I believe that undocumented people deserve an opportunity to decide whether to pursue citizenship or not.”

Read more at The Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach Post: Immigration activists will target Rooney on ‘path to citizenship’

By John Lantigua

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

WEST PALM BEACH — Activists working for immigration reform in South Florida say they will target GOP Congressman Tom Rooney of Okeechobee in the weeks to come, trying to convince him to vote for a bill that will include a path to citizenship for 11 million people now in the U.S. who entered illegally.

Continue reading…

Immigration reform must keep families together, out of poverty

By Maria Rodriguez

Jose has been in foster care. He didn’t think he belonged there, with children who have been abandoned or abused. His mom, caring and competent, is devoted but deported.

A victim of horrific, high rates of deportation, she was sent back to Nicaragua. Jose was left alone and in poverty. Now 18, he organizes for immigration reform.

Daisy is a U.S. citizen. Her undocumented husband was caught driving without a license and was detained and deported. Heartbroken, Daisy didn’t know what to tell her children when they cried for their dad.

She made the hard choice to join him in Mexico, understanding that family matters most. But U.S. poverty was nothing compared with Mexican poverty. Survival was at stake. She returned to Florida without her primary breadwinner. Now she’s a single mom, barely eking out a living.

As America debates much-needed immigration reform, the issue of criminalizing and deporting immigrants while making poverty worse for their families looms large. Jose and Daisy, an orphan and a widow of deportation, could have had modest but meaningful lives, but instead a broken immigration system plummeted them into poverty and the pain of separation. Two families, not quite whole, had to reconstruct themselves.

One way to increase social mobility in the United States and reduce poverty and economic inequality is to fix the broken immigration system. Migration is a natural, historical phenomenon. People move — especially as a result of global economic changes.

In Florida, our primary industries would be crippled without immigrant workers. It’s not fair to want their labor, but not their humanity. Why is the free flow of capital and goods globalized, yet the movement of labor — workers, people, families — criminalized.

Jose and Daisy are victims of a virtual detention and deportation war on immigrants. Like any war, it has collateral damage — the war on drugs ravaged poor and African-American communities.

This one devastates Latino families. Putting people behind bars, excluding people from the workplace and from citizenship, makes them vulnerable to exploitation and creates a permanent underclass in chronic poverty and systemic racism.

But incarcerating immigrant families not only impoverishes them; it comes at a high cost to all of us. In fact, in fiscal year, 2012, $18 billion of our federal tax dollars went to immigration enforcement — to go after Jose’s mom and Daisy’s husband.

That staggering amount is about 20 percent more than all other federal law enforcement combined — more than the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies put together.

By denying 11 million immigrants a permanent residency card and a drivers license, and devoting our resources to overzealous and misguided enforcement, we keep them and us in the dark. These dollars could instead be invested in job creation, homeless veterans or the elderly.

But criminalization impoverishes some more than others. For-profit prisons wrote and promoted laws that increase their business of incarceration, like Arizona’s “show me your papers” law. Socialize the cost of enforcement, privatize the profit.

Just like any other market, we’re sold a service — imprisonment — we don’t want or need. A hefty prison lobby works the marbled halls of Congress to promote its market, protecting its profit margin.

True fiscal conservatives should take note: On any given day, we incarcerate thousands of immigrants who pose no public-safety threat, unnecessarily put behind bars for civil immigration violations.

It costs more to imprison them than to place them in alternatives to detention. Our punitive approach is wrong, costly and ultimately ineffective.

Punitive policies that demonize people, like the war on immigrants and the war on drugs, don’t make us safer. They separate families, worsen poverty, deplete budgets and promote racism.

We need reform that values families, ends mandatory detention, removes the profit motive behind incarceration and gives families a real opportunity to stay together and out of poverty.

Maria Rodriguez is president of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. She is participating in Oxfam America’s Voices on US Poverty project.

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.

Join the Florida Caravan for Immigration Reform “Making the Road to Citizenship”

Say Yes Launch MiamiFrom March 1 to the 10th, undocumented families, farmworkers and Dreamers will travel throughout Florida to raise awareness about the importance of an Immigration Reform that keeps our families together and provides a real and inclusive path to citizenship.

We will be sharing our immigration stories, talking about how our current immigration system has affected our lives and separated millions of families, and about why we need a new immigration system. Along the road, we will join rallys, farmworkers in the fields, and important cultural events.

Check out the itinerary, get on your car and JOIN US! Together we can make the road to citizenship!

Friday, March 1st

Orlando, 11 AM: Rally with Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Luis Gutierrez who came all the way from Illinois to stand with Floridians in asking for Immigration Reform now. See more info

Haines City, 3 PM: Join the Farmworker Association of Florida, Congressmen Alan Grayson and Luis Gutierrez for the official kick-off of the Florida Caravan. See more info

Saturday, March 2nd

Immokalee, 2 PM: We will visit the Farmworker Association of Florida to join their leadership assembly. 321 N first St Immokalee, FL 34142

Sunday, March 3rd

Fellsmere, 2 PM: Community Assembly with the Farmworkers Association. We will be at 18 S Orange St Fellsmere, FL 2PM

Fort Pierce, 4:00 PM: We will visit the Latin American Coalition of the Treasure Coast for a cultural event. We will be at 2300 Virginia Ave

Monday, Match 4th

Apopka, 12:00 PM: Press Conference with the Farmworkers Association at 1264 Apopka Blvd, Apopka, FL

Apopka, 7:00 PM: Community Townhall. 1264 Apopka Blvd, Apopka, FL

Tuesday, March 5th

Lakeland, 1 PM: Press Conference at Cong. Dennis Ross’ Office. 170 Fitzgerald Road, Lakeland, FL
Plant City, 7 PM: Community Townhall with Farmworkers at 1104 N Alexander St, Plant City, FL

Wednesday, March 6th

Tampa, 12 PM: Press Conference at Senator Marco Rubio’s office. 3802 Spectrum Boulevard, Tampa
Dade City, 6 PM: Community Town Hall with farmworkers at 37240 Lock St, Dade City

Thursday, March 7th

Venice, 1 PM: The Florida Caravan will join a Farmworkers’ March organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to demand fair treatment to farmworkers and immigration reform to keep their families together. 5800 S Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL

Sebring, 6 PM: Community Townhall with Farmworkers at 4507 George Blvd., Sebring

Friday, March 8th

Belle Glade, 12 PM: Lunch with farmworkers at 7450 HWY 15, Belle Glade
West Palm Beach, 6 PM: The Palm Beach community is organizing a cultural event with music and DJs to receive the caravan, at El Pollo Granjero, 1905 S Military Trail, West Palm Beach. Check out their promotional video here

Saturday, March 8th

Florida City – Homestead, 5 PM: Join WeCount! and the Farmworkers Association in a march down Krome Ave. Starting Point: 450 W Davis Pkwy, Florida City, FL 33034.

Sunday, March 10th

Miami, 2 PM: GRAND FINALE at the Calle 8 Festival! Hundreds will walk toward Calle 8 and will join thousands of Latinos to celebrate our culture. The meeting point is St. Michael Church at 2987 W Flagler St. See more info