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Next Step in Their Journey: a guest blog post by our Citizenship Intern!

Guest post by FLIC intern Derek Centola
University of Miami Senior Political Science and International Studies Double Major
 
FNA Yard SignAnticipation, excitement, and the early morning smell of coffee filled the air of the FIU College of Law the morning of January 26th as a team of eager Florida New Americans volunteers, community organizers, and attorneys gathered to assist the waves of South Florida area Legal Permanent Residents on their path to citizenship.
 
It truly was a great start to 2013 as FLIC continued its citizenship program into its second year of existence. The clinic, a co-sponsorship between FLIC, FIU, and the Univision 23 television station, was a huge success with service to several clients who completed their paperwork, met one-on-one with immigration attorneys, and were prepared to move on to the next step in their journey toward naturalization.
 
FL Dream at FIU LawIn addition to helping clients with citizenship requirements, the January clinic was 2013’s first opportunity to work with the FL Dream campaign. Low-income undocumented youth clientele were assisted with applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We at FLIC look forward to incorporating this service at future clinics with the help of the other FL Dream campaign organizations SWER, Pico Florida, FIU, and Americans for Immigrant Justice.
 
Moving into February, we are looking forward to our second clinic of the year. This month we will be up in Deerfield Beach at Microcamp, 833 W. Sample Road, from 11am – 3pm on February 23rd. All attendees will receive assistance with filling out the proper US Citizenship and Immigration Service forms, meet one-on-one with a pro-bono attorney to discuss each specific situation, and receive further guidance on becoming a citizen.
 
Can’t make it out in February? No big deal. We have already scheduled our March Citizenship Clinics!  Saturday, March 9th from 11am – 3pm we will be at the American Muslim Community Center at 811 Wilma Street, Longwood, FL 32750.  Saturday,  March 16th from 11am – 3pm we will be at Rollins College at Mills Building, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789.
 

What you can do right now:

FNA Volunteer Latoya at FIU Law

To apply for citizenship, check out our Florida New Americans website to know if you qualify, what documents you need to bring, and to schedule an appointment.
 
To apply for DACA, check out our FL Dream website to know if you qualify what documents you need to bring, and to schedule an appointment.
 
To volunteer at any clinic contact Amber Chaudhry at (305)-571-7254 or amber@floridaimmigrant.org.

A Dream Deferred?

By: Vanessa Nuñez, Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER)

Two years ago I remember sitting in my literature class reading Harlem by Langston Hughes and thinking as the DREAM Act had just failed, and my final motion denied in court, will my dreams be deferred?

I graduated from Miami-Dade’s Honors College with a 3.83 GPA, was accepted to all six universities I applied to, and even then, I still could not attend any of them. My dream was being deferred…

After a year of not attending school, and feeling helpless and depressed, June 15th came around and turned my world around!

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)… I knew it was not something permanent, but it was a big step forward! I remember that day coming back from Gainesville and having to re-read all the messages to believe that the announcement was real.

A week ago I found myself filling out the application for the Deferred Action and, though I was very calm, the second I saw myself staring at the square designated for the “applicant signature”, I felt overwhelmed with joy and a sense of accomplishment that no words could describe. With tears filling my eyes I signed the application and completed my packet.

This last Wednesday, I sent my package out to immigration and I am overcome by a sense of relief, freedom, and happiness that I have not felt in a while! But this feeling is not only for a personal reason, but also because I know that my sisters and brothers in the struggle will be feeling this too! I can continue my studies, work, and give back to the community that has invested so much in me. I can freely drive without fear; I can show an ID… simple things that I have longed for a while now, and that now is at my fingertips.

I am ecstatic to say the least, but it does not end here; we must continue to push for the DREAM Act!

A Dream Deferred?… I think not!

Deportation deferred!!

To know more about free legal clinics for DREAMers in South Florida, go to www.fldream.org 

Atención DREAMers!

No hay suficientes palabras para expresar la emoción y el alivio que el anuncio del Presidente Obama con respecto al alivio administrativo para jóvenes inmigrantes indocumentados trajo a nuestras comunidades.

La política establece que los jóvenes elegibles para el DREAM Act que se encuentran actualmente en proceso de deportación, podrán solicitar acción diferida y, posiblemente, permiso de trabajo.

Aunque esto NO es un camino a la ciudadanía, es un gran paso en nuestra lucha por la reforma migratoria y tenemos que estar plenamente informados acerca de cómo beneficiarnos de ella.

Como ha habido mucha confusión e incertidumbre sobre la nueva política, FLIC y SWER quieren compartir informacion valiosa asi como PONER SOBRE AVISO a todos los DREAMers en la Florida y sus familias sobre posibles estafas por parte de notarios y abogados inescrupulosos.

La nueva política no se dará a conocer hasta 60 días después del anuncio de Obama, aproximadamente el 15 de agosto, y nadie debería presentar solicitudes antes de esa fecha.

Infórmate en linea

Aquí hay algunos recursos en línea con información útil:

Ven a un foro o una clínica 

Haga clic aquí para ver una lista actualizada de foros públicos y clínicas cerca a ti.

Para recibir más información, visita www.swer.org o llame al (786) 273-9748.

Attention DREAMers!

There are not enough words to express the excitement and relief that President Obama’s announcement on June 15th regarding administrative relief for undocumented immigrant youth brought to our communities.

The new policy states that DREAM Act eligible youth, who are currently in deportation procedures, will be able to apply for deferred action and possibly work permits. Although this is NOT a pathway to citizenship, it is a HUGE step in our battle for immigration reform and we need to be fully informed about how to benefit from it.

Since there has been much confusion and uncertainty about the new policy, FLIC and SWER want to provide access to information and also ALERT all DREAMers in Florida and their families about possible scams by unscrupulous notarios and lawyers.

The new policy will not be released until 60 days after the announcement, approximately August 15th, and no one should file applications before that date.

Search on the web

Here are a some online resources that provide helpful information:

Come to a Forum or Clinic

Click here to see an updated list of public forums and clinics happening near you.

To receive more information, visit www.swer.org or call (786) 273-9748.

Foros y Clínicas para DREAMers!

FOROS PÚBLICOS

SWER y otros miembros de FLIC llevarán a cabo varios foros en las próximas semanas para informar a la comunidad sobre qué hacer y qué no hacer con relacion a la nueva política de inmigración de Obama que beneficia a los jóvenes indocumentados. Si deseas participar o saber más sobre la nueva política, ven a un foro cerca a ti!

(Solo están publicados los foros que aún no se han realizado. La información de foros anteriores a esta fecha ha sido borrada para evitar confusiones) 

Broward
Fecha: Lunes 30 de julio
Hora: 7:30 pm
Lugar: St. Clements Catholic Church – 2975 North Andrews Avenue , Wilton Manors, FL 33311
Organizado por: SWER Broward – Diego Sanchez: diegos@swer.org 

Miami
Fecha: Lunes 30 de julio 
Hora: 7:30 pm
Lugar: Iglesia Betania – 2490 NW 35th St, Miami, FL
Organizado por: SWER – Julio Calderon: julioc@swer.org

Fecha: Miércoles 1 de agosto
Hora: 7:30 pm
Lugar: Librería el Tesoro (Ministerio de Fe) – 1320 NW 7th St, Miami, FL
Organizado por: SWER – Julio Calderon: julioc@swer.org

Mascotte
Fecha: Martes, 31 de julio
Hora: 7:00 pm
Lugar: Salón de la Iglesia Bautista, 857 W. Meyers Blvd. Hwy 50, Mascotte, FL 34753
Organizado por: Asociación Campesina de la Florida

Naples
Fecha: Jueves, 2 de agosto
Hora: 6:00 pm
Ubicación: 302 Filmore Street, Naples, FL, 34104
Organizado por: ACLU, FWAF y FLIC – Grey Torrico: grey@floridaimmigrant.org

Immokalee
Fecha: Sábado 4 de agosto
Hora: 4:00 pm
Ubicación: RCMA (Cafeteria) – 123 North 4th Street, Immokalee, FL
Organizado por: ACLU, FWAF y FLIC – Grey Torrico: grey@floridaimmigrant.org

Apopka
Fecha: Jueves 2 de agosto
Hora: 7:00 pm
Lugar: Chalet North (Salon) – 1800 Altine Drive, Apopka, FL 32703
Hosted by: Asociacion Campesina de la Florida – (407) 886-5151

Fecha: Jueves 9 de agosto
Hora: 7:00 pm
Ubicación: Iglesia Cristiana Edenezer – 9 North Park Avenue, Apopka, FL 32703
Organizado por: Asociación Campesina de la Florida  – (407) 886-5151

Homestead
Fecha: Lunes 6 de agosto
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: 13600 SW 312th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Organizado por: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Fecha: Martes 7 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: 16085 SW 293rd Dr, Homestead, FL 33033
Organizado por: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Fecha: Miércoles 8 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: 13600 SW 312th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Organizado por: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Fecha: Jueves 9 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: RCMA – 38010 SW 195 Avenue, Florida City FL 33034
Organizado por: SWER
Fecha: Viernes 10 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: St, Martin de Porris 14881 Southwest 288th Street
Organizado por: SWER
Fecha: Sabado 11 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: San Joaquin, 19150 SW 117th Avenue, Miami, FL 33177
Organizado por: SWER

Si estás interesado en organizar un foro en tu zona, ponte en contacto con Diego Sánchez (diegos@swer.org), Julio Calderón (julioc@swer.org) o Frida Ulloa  (frida@floridaimmigrant.org)

CLÍNICAS

Nuestros amigos de los Americans for Immigrant Justice están organizando una coalición de abogados pro-bono, que ayudaran a los DREAMers en el proceso de prepararse para presentar los documentos a USCIS para obtener a Acción Diferida a partir del 15 de agosto.

Pronto publicaremos más información acerca de las fechas de las clínicas.

Si tienes alguna pregunta acerca de esto, por favor envía un correo electrónico a dreamers@aijustice.org o llama al 305-573-1106 , ext. 1660

Para recibir más información sobre la acción diferida, inscribete para recibir alertas de correo electrónico en www.swer.org o llama al (786) 273-9748

DREAMers: Come to a Forum or Clinic near you!

PUBLIC FORUMS

SWER and other FLIC members will be holding forums in the following weeks to inform the community about what to do and what not to do. If you want to get involved or know even more about the new policy, you should attend a forum near you!

(Only current or future forums are posted here. All past forums are being deleted for clarity purposes)

Broward
Date: Monday, July 30th
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: St. Clements Catholic Church – 2975 North Andrews Avenue , Wilton Manors, FL 33311
Hosted by: SWER Broward – Diego Sanchez: diegos@swer.org 

Miami
Date: Monday, July 30th
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Betania Church – 2490 NW 35th St, Miami, FL
Hosted by: SWER – Julio Calderon: julioc@swer.org

Date: Wednesday August 1st
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Librería el Tesoro (Ministerio de Fe) – 1320 NW 7th St, Miami, FL
Hosted by: SWER – Julio Calderon: julioc@swer.org

Mascotte
Date: Tuesday, July 31st
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Baptist Church – 857 W. Meyers Blvd. Hwy 50, Mascotte, FL 34753
Hosted by: Farmworkers Association of Florida 

Naples
Date: Thursday, August 2nd
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: 302 Filmore Street, Naples, FL, 34104
Hosted by: ACLU, FWAF and FLIC – Grey Torrico: grey@floridaimmigrant.org

Immokalee
Date: Saturday, August 4th
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: RCMA (Cafeteria) – 123 North 4th Street, Immokalee, FL
Hosted by: ACLU, FWAF and FLIC – Grey Torrico: grey@floridaimmigrant.org

Apopka
Date: Thursday, August 2nd
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Chalet North (Salon) – 1800 Altine Drive, Apopka, FL 32703
Hosted by: Farmworkers Association of Florida – (407) 886-5151

Date: Thursday, August 9th
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Christian Church Edenezer – 9 North Park Avenue, Apopka, FL 32703
Hosted by: Farmworkers Association of Florida – (407) 886-5151

Homestead
Date: Monday, August 6th
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: 13600 SW 312th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Hosted by: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Date: Tuesday, August 7th
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: 16085 SW 293rd Dr, Homestead, FL 33033
Hosted by: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Date: Wednesday, August 8th
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: 13600 SW 312th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Hosted by: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Date: Thursday, August 9th
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: RCMA – 38010 SW 195 Avenue, Florida City FL 33034
Hosted by: SWER
Date: Friday, August 10th
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: St, Martin de Porris 14881 Southwest 288th Street
Hosted by: SWER
Date: Saturday, August 11th
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: San Joaquin, 19150 SW 117th Avenue, Miami, FL 33177
Hosted by: SWER
If you are interested in hosting a forum in your area, contact Diego Sanchez at diegos@swer.org, Julio Calderon at julioc@swer.org or Frida Ulloa at frida@floridaimmigrant.org

CLINICS

Our friends from Americans for Immigrant Justice are organizing a coalition of pro-bono lawyers who will be helping DREAMers in the process of getting ready to present the documents to USCIS for the Defer Action starting on August 15.

More information about the dates for the clinics will be posted soon.

If you have any questions about this, please email them at dreamers@aijustice.org or call 305-573-1106 ,ext. 1660

To receive more information about Deferred Action, sign up for e-mail alerts at www.swer.org or call (786) 273-9748

Supreme Court Says Yes to Racial Profiling, For Now

Floridians will keep fighting Arizonification until it is history

The Supreme Court today spoke out of both sides of its mouth. It declared without question that states’ attempts to take away the Federal Government’s job of immigration enforcement are unconstitutional. But it also let the “show me your papers” provisions of SB 1070, temporarily stay on the books in Arizona and other states with an SB 1070 copycat.

“The Supreme Court hasn’t completely decided if it wants to be on the right side of history,” says Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “But at least it didn’t allow the politicians that preach hate and support Jim Crow’s cousin, Juan Crow, to completely trample on the Constitution.”

The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the provisions in Arizona’s SB 1070 that made it a state crime to be undocumented and/or working without status. It also declared unconstitutional the provision that allowed warrantless arrests of undocumented immigrants.  While not declaring it constitutional, the Supreme Court allowed the “show me your papers” provisions to temporarily stand while they are still being fought on civil rights ground in the lower courts. Here is a very good breakdown of the ruling and other information about Arizona’s SB1070. 

“Like we saw in the legal battles against segregation, it took almost 60 years for the Supreme court to decide that Jim Crow was wrong. We will continue fighting anti-immigrant, anti-American and pro-racial profiling laws with full confidence that our Courts will come to their senses,” adds Rodriguez.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition, along with other members and allies throughout the state, led the “We are Florida” campaign that in 2011 mobilized thousands of every-day Floridians to successfully defeat the legislature’s attempt to bring an SB 1070 copycat law to the Sunshine state. The opposition to these bills that would hurt Florida’s economy and communities, also included business owners, growers, elected officials and religious leaders, among others.

“Racial profiling is already an epidemic. The failure to recognize ‘show me your papers’ provisions as unconstitutional will deepen the crisis and undermine our safety,” concludes Rodriguez. “We are building a social movement, naturalizing, registering and voting to end racism and exclusion in Florida and in throughout the country.”

ARTivism Basel: FLIC Will Be at Art Basel Supporting Immigrant Youth

Immigrant Youth DREAM for a better Florida

December 3rd will be our night, we’re taking Art Basel!

December 3rd, 6PM – 10PM

Collins Park, Miami Beach, FL (map attached)

Check our Facebook event

FLIC is thrilled to be participating in the Public Art Series, at Collins Park in Miami Beach, FL, through the generosity of two Los Angeles-based socially-conscious artists: Olga Koumoundouros and Andrea Bowers. Olga and Andrea will be incorporating our two largest campaigns, “We Are Florida” and “CCA Go Away,” into the outdoor exhibit on the beach.

The night will be dedicated to immigrant youth and their dreams for an education. We will raise awareness about the need for in-state tuition legislation in Florida, and raise funds for the SWER DREAM Fund to help youth pay for college.
The surprises of the night will include a theater performance by Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER), live art with Arizona-based youth activist Ernesto Yerena, as well as drinks and live music by Haitian-American roots band MAWON.
LIVE ART AND SIGN-MAKING PARTY: Ernesto Yerena, a young immigrant rights ARTivist, will be joining us all the way from Arizona. Yerena, a chicano artist, created the famous image for the Alto Arizona campaign. He will offer a workshop for youth and will teach us how to do stencil signs for our next in-state tuition campaign.
Guillermo Reyes, a Florida DREAMer and member of SWER, will paint our surprise We are Florida mural. Everyone will be invited to contribute something to our mural.
ANTI SB1070 DANCE:  An incredible dance team from Lake Worth will perform their “Anti SB1070” dance, to educate people about the effects of anti-immigrant laws like the ones in Arizona or Alabama.
THEATER: Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER) will be performing their famous Theater of the Oppressed piece: “Immigrant Money Making Machine,” (link to video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSdATEx8p-A). A perfect piece to educate Art Basel visitors about the for-profit prison industry and their business of locking up immigrants.

LIVE MUSIC AND PARTY: Our friends from MAWON, a Haitian-American Miami-based roots band, will be performing live for us. We will also have “Herencia Maya”, a marimba band from Homestead.

The exhibit will be open the entire week of Art Basel, from November 30th to December 4th. Please stop and take a look at the featured images from the “We Are Florida” campaign.

CCA GO AWAY

(See English version below)

Por: Rosana Araujo*

Rosana Araujo, Miami Workers CenterEl 1 de Septiembre de 2011, día en que Alabama implementaría una ley antiinmigrante más fuerte que la SB1070 de Arizona y bajo un cielo amenazante por la lluvia, no impidió que un grupo de activistas afros e hispanos del sur de Florida se unieran para alzar sus voces por la construcción de un centro de detención en el condado de Broward con capacidad para 2000 camas, uno de los más grandes del país.

Alrededor de las 3:00 pm comenzaron a llegar pequeños grupos de las distintas organizaciones que con carteles, y al grito de “CCA Go Away”, reflejaban la disconformidad ante la población que circulaba en sus autos sobre Griffin Rd, haciendo que muchos de ellos desconcertados se detuvieran a preguntar qué sucedía, ya que sus líderes comunales se niegan a hablar.

Después que la administración del Presidente Obama anunciara cambios en las políticas de deportación, inmigrantes en todo el país siguen siendo detenidos y deportados.

Empresas como la Corporación de Correccionales de America (CCA) y el grupo Geo, son parte del mismo negocio: la encarcelación de inmigrantes. Por ese motivo apoyan leyes como la de Arizona y programas como Comunidades Seguras, con el fin de que sus cárceles no permanezcan vacías.

Por eso digamos “NO a la construcción de cárceles Si a la construcción de escuelas”.

Levantemos nuestras voces, CCA go AWAY.

Ver más fotos acá

*Rosana es miembro del Centro de Trabajadores de Miami.

Otras organizaciones presentes: Coalición de Inmigrantes de la Florida (FLIC), Estudiantes Trabajando por la Igualdad de Derechos (SWER), Mujeres Haitianas de Miami (FANM), Unite Here

(English version)

By: Rosana Araujo*

On September 1, 2011, the day Alabama was expected to implement an anti-immigrant law stronger than Arizona’s SB1070 and under a threatening sky, the rain did not stop a group of Afro and Latino activists in South Florida come together to raise their voices against the building of a new detention center in Broward County with a capacity of 2000 beds, one of the largest in the country.

Around 3:00 pm, small groups of the various organizations started arriving with banners and shouting “CCA Go Away,” reflecting their opposition to the people that drove by in their cars on Griffin Rd. Many of them, surprised, stopped to ask what was happening since their community leaders refuse to speak.

After Obama’s administration announced changes in the deportation policies, immigrants across the country continue to be detained and deported.

Companies like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group are part of the same business: the incarceration of immigrants. That is why they support laws like Arizona and programs like Secure Communities (S-Comm) so that their prisons are always full.

We need to say “NO to prisons and YES to schools.”

Let’s raise our voices, CCA go AWAY.

See more pics here

*Rosana is member of the Miami Workers Center. 

Other organizations present at the rally were: Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER), Haitian Women of Miami (FANM), Unite Here