MIAMI, FL – Yesterday, FWD.us partnered with the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) to host a celebration of immigrant heritage, bringing together a diverse range of community voices from across southern Florida. Event participants included local professors, attorneys, advocacy organizations and elected officials, among others. Participants discussed the positive impact Florida’s immigrant community has on the state, the issues facing Florida immigrants and how to combat them, and the need for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
The event also featured a discussion about the immigration state of play, both in Tallahassee and nationally. Following a day-long program, attendees continued the celebration with performances by local musicians, food, and film screenings.
More than 4.3 million immigrants call the Sunshine State home. These immigrants are vital members of their communities and are integral members of the state’s economy – with immigrants contributing more than $28 billion in taxes and having a spending power of nearly $92 billion. As over 20 percent of Floridians, or one in five, are immigrants, yesterday’s celebration of immigrant heritage was a celebration of Florida.
FWD.us applauds each participants’ commitment to immigrants and for coming together to discuss these issues of incredible importance to Florida’s immigrant community.
Quotes from yesterday’s Celebration of Immigrant Heritage include:
“As the son of Bahamian immigrants, I know firsthand the importance of Florida’s immigrant community. Today’s event was a unique opportunity to recognize the many contributions of Florida’s immigrants and discuss ways to support the most vulnerable members of this community.” – FWD.us Florida State Director Ted Hutchinson
“Florida’s immigrants are essential to the prosperity, economic and otherwise, of our state, which is why the CIC is proud to partner on today’s event and allow for a special opportunity to commemorate, support and strengthen this incredible community. We look forward to hosting these relevant conversations about the impact immigrants have on the Sunshine State.” – Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, General Manager, Cambridge Innovation Center
“With the anniversary of the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind DACA fast approaching, it is of the utmost importance that we remind Floridians of the incredible impact that DACA recipients have on our communities and celebrate their contributions, and all immigrants’ contributions, to our state.”– Juan Carlos Gomez, Professor, Florida International University
“Today’s celebration not only honored Florida’s immigrant community, but also served as an opportunity to remind Floridians of the importance of comprehensive reform that addresses the flaws in our broken immigration system. Discussions like these are important steps toward building public support for lasting reforms.” – Christine Alden, President, South Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association