October 31st, 2013 –

On Tuesday, October 29th fifteen immigration reform leaders representing various Florida civil rights and labor organizations were arrested as they blocked traffic in an act of civil disobedience in downtown Orlando. The measure, part of a nationwide campaign, aimed to pressure the Florida Congressional delegation to stop blocking immigration reform and vote in favor of a clear path for citizenship this fall.

Hundreds of protesters marched along Orlando’s Central Boulevard following a rally held at the Orange County Regional History Center. Fifteen protesters later blocked an adjacent street for almost an hour, willingly risking arrest, in an effort to illustrate the dire need of fixing a broken immigration system that obstructs progress for all.

Following the events, dozens held a candlelight vigil for the protesters outside Orange County Jail premises. All fifteen leaders were released the next morning, followed by an outpouring of press coverage by local media outlets. A small crowd of supporters welcomed and cheered for the protesters as they walked out of the jail.

Florida New Majority stands for all immigrants, in honor of our nation’s rich immigrant history and in celebration of the vitality of all of our communities. They must have a secure pathway to citizenship and increased participation in the democratic process. We salute our Organizing Director Marcos Vilar for his valiant participation in the Orlando protest. He was among the fifteen activists arrested on October 29th.

We are currently working in conjunction with Progress Florida, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and CIR Now to help support efforts for a House vote on immigration reform. While partisan politics continue to stall reform, progress may be accomplished through a discharge petition signed by 218 members of the house. Join the fight by signing our petition to Florida’s congressional delegation urging them to commit.