Floridians Joined More than 75 Dreamers, TPS Holders, and DED Recipients for the #ProtectTheDream Fly-In
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, three Dreamers and two TPS holders from Florida traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate directly to their Members of Congress for passage of bipartisan legislation that will provide permanent protections to individuals living in the United States. Without urgent action from Congress, more than 1 million individuals, including 27,000 Florida Dreamers, could be separated from their families, ripped out of the workforce, and deported, starting in a matter of weeks.
The Florida Dreamers and TPS holders joined a diverse group of nearly 80 individuals from 12 different states, including DACA recipients who are pursuing higher education, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders who have rebuilt their lives in the United States after fleeing natural disasters in their home countries, and hardworking Liberian American Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients who have contributed to their U.S. communities for decades.
Every individual in the group has a unique story, but all have had their lives thrown into chaos due to the Trump Administration’s actions to terminate programs — like DACA, TPS, and DED — that currently protect more than 1 million individuals. Each participant is at risk of being deported, separated from their loved ones, and forced out of their communities to return to countries they may not have seen in decades. Only permanent legislative protections from Congress will allow them the certainty to continue living and working in the U.S., and building their lives here.
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The following Florida Dreamers participated in the Washington, D.C. fly-in and are willing to participate in media interviews.
Sayra Lozano, DACA Recipient (Lakeland, FL)
- Sayra Lozano’s family migrated to the US when she was five years old in search of better opportunities for her, including a quality education. Sayra Lozano earned her MBA from Southeastern University, where she excelled as a Teaching Assistant. Upon graduation from university, Sayra was offered a position as an Adjunct Professor of Business Data Analysis. Sayra has co-founded a project helping post-incarcerated women obtain employment, hosted a Presidential Campaign Forum with reputable surrogates and voter registration, and interned on Capitol Hill through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. She is currently launching an initiative to help the vast homeless community register to vote. Sayra has received a Certificate of Achievement, presented by former CHCI Chair, Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (CA38).
Rony Ponthieux, TPS Holder (Miami Gardens, Florida)
- Rony is a registered nurse at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital and is one of 437,000 people with Temporary Protected Status currently living in the United States. He is a dedicated father and husband, and the uncertainty of his status causes immense stress for his family.
Claudia Jimenez Contreras, DACA Recipient (Orlando, FL)
- Claudia Jimenez immigrated to the United States at the age of eight. Claudia looks forward to her upcoming graduation and hopes for the opportunity to renew her DACA status in order to work and continue her studies in law. She hopes to become an immigration attorney and continue to serve her community. Claudia received her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.
(Marie) Farah Larrieux, TPS Holder (Miramar, FL)
- Farah Larrieux is a Haitian TV personality, entrepreneur and community advocate. She started her career in communication in Haiti at 17 years old as a television host and radio personality. In 2002, Farah entered the public relation field and co-founded THLAR Management Group, based in Haiti. After she moved to the United States, she became hugely involved with the Haitian music industry in South Florida. She studied Music Business at Broward College and was the president of the Broward College Chapter of the Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA). She received her Master degree in Computer Sciences in Haiti.
Adrián Escárate, DACA Recipient (Miami, FL)
- Adrian was born in Santiago, Chile and moved to the United States when he was 3 years old because his family hoped to have a better life. Initially, his parents had only intended to live in Miami for five years so that they could work and save enough money and ultimately return to Chile. However, after years of assimilation, Miami became their permanent home. Adrian was able to attend secondary schooling at the University of North Florida and St. Thomas University as a student-athlete by playing on the men’s tennis team at both universities. Although undocumented, he was able to attend school with private scholarships and graduated Cum Laude Honors from St. Thomas University in 2011 with a Degree in Communications Arts and a minor in Psychology.
FAST FACTS ON FLORIDA DREAMERS
- DACA recipients are integral to the fabric of communities across Florida. Protecting Dreamers and ensuring that they and their family members can thrive is good for Florida families and good for Florida’s economy.
- In Florida, DACA has allowed more than 27,000 young people to come forward, pass a background check, and live and work legally in the U.S.
- Florida Dreamers are entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses, and engineers, and they live in, work in, and contribute to nearly every community across the state.
- DACA-eligible individuals in Florida have an annual spending power of $1.2 billion, and Florida’s Dreamers pay $77.5 million in state and local taxes annually.
- Ending DACA, and failing to provide permanent protections for Dreamers, would cost Florida more than $1.5 billion in lost GDP annually.