ACLU of Florida staff is participating in rallies in Tallahassee, Gainesville and Sarasota, calling on Reps. Southerland, Yoho and Buchanon respectively to support immigration reform

CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363-2737 or
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July, 24th, 2013.

MIAMI - Today, many immigrants’ rights advocates are organizing rallies across the state to call for fair and inclusive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in this country. Opponents of immigration reform in the House of Representatives are rejecting a Senate-passed bill that puts the 11 million on a 13-year probationary path to citizenship and instead pursuing piecemeal bills that do not add up to immigration reform.

The following statement on today’s rallies may be attributed to the ACLU of Florida:

“So far, immigration ‘reform’ in the House consists of piecemeal proposals that would lead to more racial profiling, wrongful detention, and mistrust of police. The proposals now before the House don’t address the major need for reform, which is legalizing the status of millions who have lived and worked in our communities, sometimes for decades, through a path by which they can become full U.S. citizens. At this point, all the legislation does is attempt to ‘Arizonify’ the country by turning local cops into immigration enforcement agents, put border security on steroids, create an electronic national ID card, and develop a guest worker program reminiscent of the braceros. Piecemeal bills that don’t provide a path to citizenship are not a solution for our broken immigration system.

“Excluding the vast majority of undocumented individuals from the rights and responsibilities of citizenship through such half-hearted measures as the KIDS Act and creating second-class status for agricultural workers that denies labor protections and legal rights is contrary to American values.

“It also violates the United States’ democratic institutions for a minority of House members to block something the majority of the Americans and Floridians support: a broad path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented individuals. We deserve a vote on the path to citizenship.

“We encourage our representative Mario Diaz-Balart and the House Gang of 7 to quickly introduce their bipartisan bill that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people who live and work among us. And we encourage our Florida representatives to reject piecemeal alternatives that do not include such a broad path to citizenship.