Legislative Session: Early Hurricane Season

This year, hurricane season has started early, and it's not mother nature that we have to worry about, it's Republicans and Democrats in the FL state legislature.

The following is a guest post from Trail of Dreams:

Florida has always been known for its stunning beauty, year-round sunshine, and hurricanes. Over the last ten years, I’ve learned to be prepared for the hurricane season, by stocking up food, water, and other provisions , just in case one hits us.  This year, hurricane season has started early, and it’s not mother nature that we have to worry about, it’s Republicans and Democrats in our state legislature.

The legislative session has just begun, and already twelve anti-immigrant bills have been filed, including copycat legislation based on Arizona’s controversial racial profiling bill, SB 1070. Thus far all of them have been filed by the the Republican leadership in the State Legislature but we are still hesitant on how Democrats might vote when it comes to the floor. If any of these bills were to pass, we’d experience a man-made, hurricane of hate and racism — and that’s only the front side of the hurricane.

Join me in this fight by signing this petition http://tinyurl.com/46bvkzz.

The back side of the hurricane would be even more devastating.  Familes would be torn apart, should a parent be racially profiled for “looking undocumented” and Latinos would have to suffer insulting questions about their immigration status.  I can already see  children being separated from their parents, because of a minor traffic violation and I can feel the pain of a young child, as she cries because the laws of the land treat her less than human.

As I see these bills moving through the committees in the state legislature, it’s like watching a man-made disaster in the making. Some of our past champions such as Senator Anitere Flores have succumbed to the Republican party’s pressure and introduced a bill disguised as good. Her bill seems to only target “criminals” when it has the potential to make any contact with the local police a ticket back to our countries’ of origin. I will be severely hurt, as well as the other estimated 190,000 DREAM Act eligible students in Florida, because any minor traffic violation while we drive to school may result in deportation. Even worse, Republican opportunists, such as Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos is using these bills as a distraction to cut government services like education, health, and safety.

I won’t allow racist shadows to cast over the Sunshine State.  Even though I can see the storm clouds building, I will not evacuate. I’m staying to fight these bills, because Florida is my home and I’m not about to let opportunist politicians to cast a  permanent shadow over our Florida. 

I will stand up for my community and I will work endlessly to make sure that every politician in Florida understands that if they don’t stand up for us in 2011, they won’t be able to count on us in 2012. Immigrant voters are watching closely to see who are our true leaders that will courageously stand for the best interest of Florida rather than their own political aspirations.

Join me by signing this petition http://tinyurl.com/46bvkzz.

For more information on how to get involved go please visit www.weareflorida.com

In Solidarity,

-Felipe Matos
Students Working for Equal Rights