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The Legislative Session ends, but the fight continues

We Are Florida

We Are Florida! Nou Se Florid! Somos Florida!

En Español Abajo

This week marks the end yet another aggressive legislative session, with the introduction of HB9/SB308 and HB45/SB212, two Trump-inspired anti-immigrant bills that threatened families in Florida. With the immense help of our members and allies, we fought back and won, showing that immigrants aren’t going anywhere, because We Are Florida!

We continue to prove that immigrants are a driving force in our state and that, together, we have the power to fight back. Thank you to the hundreds of fearless families, farmworkers, faith leaders, students and community members who called their legislators and mobilized to Tallahassee to share their stories. We learned, we cried, we danced and, most importantly, we protected our communities.

We thank Senator Anitere Flores, Senator Rene Garcia and Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez for standing up for our community and and coming out publicly against these bills, making it impossible for them even move through the Senate committee. We also thank our champions in the House, including including Reps. Al Jacquet, Amy Mercado, Carlos Smith and many others who stood up in committee meetings and on the House Floor to defend immigrant families and our local governments.

It has been an honor to work with every single one of you, and now that legislative session is behind us, we ask you to stay engaged with in the fight by connecting with our organizers. We are in a pivotal moment that requires strengthening our base and building a broad coalition of advocates dedicated to protecting our communities

Contact your local organizers:

Julio Calderon, South Florida: sflteam@floridaimmigrant.org
Pamela Gomez, Tampa: pamela@floridaimmigrant.org
Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, Orlando: isabelsousa@floridaimmigrant.org

En Español

We Are Florida! Nou Se Florid! Somos Florida!

Este año marca otra sesión legislativa más agresiva, con la presentación de HB9 / SB308 y HB45 / SB212, dos proyectos de ley antiinmigrantes inspirados por Trump que amenazaron a las familias en Florida. Con la inmensa ayuda de nuestros miembros y aliados, luchamos y ganamos, demostrando que los inmigrantes no van a ninguna parte, ¡porque somos Florida!

Seguimos demostrando que los inmigrantes son una fuerza motriz en nuestro estado y que, juntos, tenemos el poder para defendernos. Gracias a los cientos de familias valientes, trabajadores agrícolas, líderes religiosos, estudiantes y miembros de la comunidad que llamaron a sus legisladores y se movilizaron a Tallahassee para compartir sus historias. Aprendimos, lloramos, bailamos y, lo más importante, protegimos a nuestras comunidades.

Agradecemos al Senador Anitere Flores, al Senador René García y al Senador José Javier Rodríguez por defender a nuestra comunidad y salir públicamente en contra de estos proyectos de ley, haciendo que sea imposible para ellos incluso avanzar a través del comité del Senado. También agradecemos a nuestros campeones en la Cámara, incluidos los representantes Al Jacquet, Amy Mercado, Carlos Smith y muchos otros que se pusieron de pie en las reuniones del comité y en el Piso de la Cámara para defender a las familias inmigrantes y nuestros gobiernos locales.

Ha sido un honor trabajar con cada uno de ustedes, y ahora que la sesión legislativa está detrás de nosotros, les pedimos que se mantengan involucrados en la lucha  conectándose con nuestros organizadores. Estamos en un momento crucial que requiere fortalecer nuestra base y construir una amplia coalición de defensores dedicados a proteger nuestras comunidades

Póngase en contacto con sus organizadores locales:

Julio Calderon, Sur de la Florida: sflteam@floridaimmigrant.org
Pamela Gomez, Tampa: pamela@floridaimmigrant.org
Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, Orlando: isabelsousa@floridaimmigrant.org


Immigrant families and advocates mobilize to the state’s capitol to speak against anti-immigrant bill, House Bill 9, scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017. Vans will be departing from Hialeah in Miami, Tampa, and Orlando.

Despite the national backlash and constitutional concerns that Texas faced after proposing a similar bill, Florida legislators threaten public safety and undermine local democracy by attempting to bring Trump’s anti-immigrant policies to our state.

“It’s immoral that legislators elected to protect our children, year after year, continue to propose bills that criminalize immigrant workers who are their parents, and cold-heartedly separate families,” said Lourdes Villanueva from Redland Christian Migrant Association and Board Chair of the Florida Immigrant Coalition “HB 9 would have serious human cost but also an economic impact on local industry and municipalities as law enforcement, city or county officers, and even school and college employees are required  to report undocumented immigrants.”

For the 2018 legislative session, the bill was intentionally assigned to only one committee, limiting the opportunities for public comment on it and sparking outrage in the community, especially after several local governments have adopted policies to protect immigrant families from Trump’s deportation machine.  

“We are actively mobilizing and educating immigrants to become conscious and active citizens and voters. We must pay close attention to policies that undermine the power of local government and weaken our democracy.” said Broward County Commissioner Dale Holeness.

Since 2011, the We Are Florida campaign led by the Florida Immigrant Coalition has mobilized and successfully defeated all anti-immigrant and anti-refugee bills. Farmworkers, labor unions, students and workers from across the state have pledged to use their voice and power to once again put a stop to anti-immigrant bills that hurt us all.

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.

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.”