ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida has joined with coalition partners across the state of Florida on a series of events and actions targeting Florida’s congressional delegation as to the proposed immigration reform legislation being considered by Congress.

On Thursday, May 30th, ACLU of Florida staff, including Staff Attorney Shalini Goel Agarwal and Executive Director Howard Simon, met with the staff of Senator Marco Rubio to discuss the organization’s concerns about the bill and share the stories of some of the Floridians who have come forward and talked about how their lives have been impacted by our nation’s broken immigration system.

On Friday, May 31st, the ACLU of Florida was invited to present a screening of the documentary Two Americans at Miami’s Edison High School’s “Haitian Heritage Month Celebration,” with Representatives Daphne Campbell and Barbara Watson and 400 students in attendance. Finally, ACLU of Florida staff attended or will attend a series of pro-immigration rallies being held on Friday and Saturday at the offices of Senator Marco Rubio, and Representatives Webster, Yoho, and Diaz-Balart.

At each of these events as well as online, the ACLU of Florida has been calling on people to sign a petition to Senator Marco Rubio, urging him to press for three of the ACLU’s priority areas for protection of civil liberties in the immigration bill. Those priorities are: a broad path to citizenship that does not unnecessarily exclude people; the ability for immigration judges to exercise discretion in individual cases; and preventing the creation of a National ID system. Additionally, the ACLU of Florida has been encouraging people impacted by our immigration system to share their personal stories with the organization either through an audio recording or by calling a hotline number in order to share these personal stories with both the public and decision-makers.

The following statement on the ACLU of Florida’s advocacy on the immigration reform bill may be attributed to Shalini Goel Agarwal, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Florida:

“This is a once-in-a-generation moment when we have the opportunity to ensure that the civil rights and civil liberties guaranteed by our Constitution are enshrined into our laws. For too long, millions of aspiring citizens have languished in the shadows of our society, with no clear path to becoming a citizen of the nation they love and call home. They are our mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers—productive members of our community. We are calling on members of Florida’s congressional delegation to remember that they can give millions of people an opportunity to participate in the promise of America, and to remember that they have an obligation to ensure that everyone is protected by the promise of our Constitution.”

The petition being circulated by the ACLU of Florida is available here:

The hotline number for individuals to share immigration stories is: 1-855-236-4845