WUFT News

Immigration Reform Group Campaigns in North Florida

By on September 4th, 2013

An advocacy group for immigration reform stopped in North Florida Tuesday as part of a nearly month-long campaign targeting communities.

The Farmworker Association of Florida Inc. has traveled statewide throughout August and September to visit 27 districts from Lake Worth to Maitland to Gainesville, to persuade the community and slow-to-reply lawmakers to support its cause.

“We’ve been asking for meetings with them — with our communities – for months, and they never responded to us,” said Tirso Moreno, the association general coordinator. “Now we’re going into their offices.”

Organization members and Gainesville’s Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice went to meet with U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho in Gainesville, who was out of his office, and Republican U.S. Congressman Rich Nugent in Ocala.

Moreno said he went to Yoho’s office because he wanted to know the Republican’s position on immigration reform.

Yoho’s solution for immigration is to secure the border, according to his website. He wants to introduce a guest worker program, which would mandate immigrant workers to pay taxes.

Members of the association spoke about their experiences as undocumented workers living in the United States at a morning press conference at the Mennonite Meeting House on Northwest 18th Avenue.

Moreno is hopeful for eventual legal status given to undocumented workers and students after the U.S. Senate passed historic legislation in June.

He said immigrants are often victims of crimes but don’t report anything because they’re afraid of a police officer checking on their immigration status. They’re concerned about officers racially profiling those they stop.

Carlos Lopez, 21, of Dade City, has traveled with the organization for two weeks. He said the one thing he would want to tell lawmakers is that immigrants who have entered or remain in the country without authorization aren’t in the U.S. to commit crimes but to create a future.

“We all have rights,” he said. “We are humans, and we deserve our human rights.”

The organization also spoke with students at the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures.

Tirso Moreno, the general coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida, spoke with students Tuesday at La Casita on the University of Florida's campus. Moreno said it's important to get support of the community and students. "Students are the future of our society," he said.

Meghan Pryce / WUFT News

Tirso Moreno, the general coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida, spoke with students Tuesday at La Casita on the University of Florida's campus. Moreno said it's important to get support of the community and students. "Students are the future of our society," he said.

Haidee Cano, a 21-year-old theater senior at the University of Florida, said she was excited to hear about the workers’ experiences. She has advocated for them through her involvement with CHISPAS, which gives support to immigration issues happening locally and nationally.

A child of illegal immigrants, Cano said she feels sorry for the young people who grew up in this country as Americans but still aren’t citizens.

“They’re not represented as an American yet they feel so American,” she said. “I feel for that.”

Clarification appended: A previous version of this story referred to immigrants who have entered or remain in the country without authorization as “illegal immigrants.” This usage was in contradiction with the Associated Press Stylebook and has been rewritten above.


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  • http://bit.ly/13skmqS Forums4Justice

    Making Our Case Against Illegal Immigration Reform http://bit.ly/13skmqS

    • Just a thought

      This is all hate based biased Propoganda to blame the immigrants, minorities, jews and Gays for all the problem created by massive wealth gap by the rich and using you guys to deflect and vent your anger on the minorities as a deflection.

      Wake up and search your heart about the truth and you will see the humanity in immigration reform.

  • Yaissy Solis

    Although it is great that WUFT decides to cover issues like this, I think it is important to note that it is wrong and dehumanizing to refer to individuals as “illegal.” Also, “feeling” for undocumented youth is NOT the same thing as feeling sorry for them. Undocumented youth across the country are making their voices heard, and openly making their status known without fear. As the president of CHISPAS, I would like to make clear that our organization does not speak on behalf of undocumented immigrant and migrant workers, but instead stand united and in solidarity with them.

  • Mami

    HOLAAA!! SOLO QUEDAN MINUTOS, POR FAVOR TOCA SOBRE LA IMAGEN Y DALE “ME GUSTA” A LA FOTO.
    AYUDANOS PARA Q MI NIÑA GANE HOY EL CONCURSO DE TALENTO, GRACIAS!
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=546634372076739&id=331220710284774&set=a.546633338743509.1073741832.331220710284774&source=48&__user=100000601347067
    *SI LA IMAGEN NO LE DIRIGE AL SITIO EN FB PARA DARLE LIKE A LA FOTO PUEDE COPIAR E IR A ESTE LINK ADJUNTO.
    Go Haidee! Go Haidee! Go Haidee!

 

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