March 27, 2013 –
South Florida leaders visit Sen. Rubio’s office Monday, inviting him to join thousands marching through Miami for a new immigration system.
Miami, FL – Miami exemplifies what immigrants can do when they are given the opportunity to fully contribute. The question is, can the lawmakers in Washington fix the system so that all families can integrate into their communities as equal partners or will they be pushed to the margins of participation?
On Monday, March 25th, community leaders looked to held answer that question. They held a press conference in front of Senator Marco Rubio’s Miami office announcing a massive April 6 March in Miami in support of a new, more inclusive immigration system and urging the the “Gang of 8” senator to join his constituents in supporting comprehensive immigration reform.
While the Senate failed the deadline to file a bill by mid-March, community members delivered 15,000 signatures to Senator Rubio asking that he join the march and demanding that he use his leadership to move a bill forward.
“The elections proved that the majority of Americans want a new immigration system,” said Gihan Perera, Executive Director of Florida New Majority. “We won’t wait any longer while our friends, neighbors and family members suffer from unjust raids and detentions.”
On April 6th, people from across South Florida will mobilize to “Say Yes” to changes that shoudl provide a real and inclusive path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans. The march, part of a week of similar mobilizations across the country, will start at 12pm in Little Havana’s José Martí Park and will end at the Torch of Friendship in Bayfront Park.
“It is now or never. We don’t want more promises, we want action and we want to see a bill now,” says Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “This march is not about supporting President Obama’s plan or Senator Rubio’s plan, a Republican plan or a Democrat plan. It is about urging our elected officials to come together now to create a new immigration system that mirrors what America is supposed to represent.”
“If Congress hasn’t caught on by now, Latino voters are paying close attention to what Congress does vs. what they say on immigration reform. Now is not the time for roadblocks, it’s the time for results and reform with a clear pathway to citizenship,” said Monica Russo of the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) State Council.
The list of organizations, community groups, churches and small businesses supporting the march promises to grow daily until April 6. Original conveners include the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), 1Miami, ACLU of Florida, Mi Familia Vota, Florida New Majority, Miami Workers Center, Jobs with Justice, Unite Here, South Florida AFL-CIO, Haitian Women of Miami, Students Working for Equal Rights, Dreamer’s Moms, Centro de Orientacion al Inmigrante, Coalition of Latino Organizations United for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and others.
“Let’s march to uphold and honor the dignity and worth of every person regardless of immigration status,” said Camilo Mejia of the Miami Workers Center. “We can let time pass us by or we can get out and change the course of history for the betterment of our families and community. Come be a part of that change by Saying Yes to Immigration Reform and march with us on April 6th!”