WASHINGTON, DC – Today, FWD.us and Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09) hosted a roundtable on immigration reform, the state of play of the DACA program in advance of the upcoming oral arguments on DACA at the Supreme Court, and discussed the status of legislation to protect Dreamers and TPS holders in Washington. One week after the 2nd anniversary of the termination of DACA, the event brought together leaders from across Florida to discuss the need for Congress to pass permanent protections for Florida’s Dreamers and TPS holders. Participants included Congressman Soto, State Representative Guillermo-Smith, FWD.us State Director Ted Hutchinson, and Stephanie Wall from the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
The event began with Congressman Soto and Ted Hutchinson providing a state-of-play update on immigration reform, Dreamer and TPS-focused legislation and the upcoming DACA program Supreme Court oral arguments. Participants discussed what everyday Floridians can do to support the Dreamers and TPS holders in their communities while they wait for the Senate to pass a bipartisan solution protecting them.
The discussion highlighted the incredible impact that Florida’s more than 4.3 million immigrants, including more than 35,000 Dreamers, have on the welfare of the state. Immigrants, participants noted, play an immense role in the prosperity of Florida, employing more than 840,000 Floridians and contributing more than $91 billion in annual purchasing power.
Today’s event concluded with a demand for action from Congress to pass legislation protecting these vulnerable immigrant populations. Congressman Soto promised to continue working with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get a long term legislative solution for Dreamers and TPS holders signed into law.
Participant quotes from today’s roundtable are below:
“The United States is home for our nation’s Dreamers. They have grown up here, studied here, worked here and made lives for themselves here. It is Congress’ responsibility to pass permanent protections for these hardworking Americans. I promise to continue standing with Florida’s Dreamers and TPS holders, and to keep fighting for policies that protect immigrants in our communities.” – Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09)
“Ensuring that Dreamers and TPS holders are protected and able to continue living and working here in the Sunshine State is in all of our best interests. Only legislation from Washington can provide Dreamers and TPS holders with these much needed permanent protections. I urge Floridians to continue to support the immigrants in their communities and for Congress to get Dreamer and TPS holder protections signed into law as soon as possible.” – State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-49)
“As the son of Bahamian immigrants, I have seen firsthand the impact that Florida’s Dreamers and TPS holders have on our state, and the important role they play in our communities and economy. They are our neighbors, coworkers and friends. Today’s roundtable served as an important opportunity to highlight these immigrants’ importance to our state and emphasized the need for a legislative solution to protect them.” – FWD.us Florida State Director Ted Hutchinson
“Every day, I see the contributions that Florida’s immigrants make to our communities. Today’s discussion was an amazing opportunity to highlight some of these contributions and provide meaningful ways for Floridians to support our state’s Dreamers and TPS holders. I look forward to continuing the conversation and urge our representatives in Washington to finally take action and provide Dreamers and TPS holders with legislative certainty.” – Stephanie Wall, Florida Immigration Coalition