Archive | June, 2009

Sen. Nelson Speaks Up for Walter and the DREAM Act!

29 Jun

billnelsonSen. Nelson rallies against student’s deportation

Please check out the link above–the DREAM Act has amazing support from our elected officials here in Florida because our youth-led movement has shown the validity and urgency of giving undocumented students a chance to stay in the U.S. and continue contributing their skills to our communities.

As Sen. Nelson stated, “Lara ‘has earned the chance to live and work here and call America home.’ Thank you, Sen. Nelson, for standing up for what the promise of America was always supposed to mean!


DREAMers in the National Spotlight

24 Jun

youth speak out for dream actHow exciting–DREAM Activists around the country have attracted local and national media attention through the national graduation ceremony in Washington D.C. and continued work with their legislative representatives. Check out this New York Times editorial and this coverage in the Washington Post.

Additional press coverage here:
MDC students rally against deportations
(en Espanol: En el Miami-Dade College protestan contra la deportación de un estudiante indocumentado)

Reclamaron por el ‘Dream Act’ Estudiantes y activistas en el Congreso

Estudiantes abogan por la Ley del Sueño Celebran protesta y graduación simbólica

Immigrant Narratives : Choose Your Mother or Your Child

Deborah Townsend: DREAM Act gives young immigrants opportunity to thrive

Our own Florida delegation has been listening–and we thank them!

We were able to secure a private bill for Walter Lara in the House of Representatives, sponsored by Rep. Kendrick Meek and co-sponsored by Rep. Corrine Brown.

Also, Rep. Alcee Hastings has agreed to co-sponsor the DREAM Act!

Let’s keep building the momentum–for the sake of Walter and all DREAMers!

Miami Dade College SWER Youth Speak Out for the DREAM Act

23 Jun

090623_DREAM action

This afternoon, at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, members of Students Working for Equal Rights, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and We Count! showed their support for DREAMers–attracting many students and passers-by with their passionate arguments for why passing the DREAM Act must be an urgent priority, and why Walter Lara–and all other DREAM students–should not be deported. They should be embraced as being “as American as anyone else,” said Maria Rodriguez, FLIC’s executive director.

Dr. Rolando Montoya, Miami Dade College’s provost, advocated passionately for the DREAM Act, along with three representatives of the Miami Dade College Student Government Associations (SGA): Gabriel Bardo, Vice President at Wolfson Campus; Hoki Tse, President at West Campus; and Juan Rodriguez, President at InterAmerican Campus. Our MC was Alejo Stark, an experienced SWER core leader.

The SWER students set up an empty “classroom,” surrounded by caution tape, to symbolize how undocumented students are excluded from the world of higher education–for no other reason than their immigration status. Most came here as young children, with their parents–who wanted them to have better lives and develop their potential. All who spoke made reference to DREAMers’ academic achievements and drive to contribute back to American society.

We can hardly wait to hear back from the SWER members who went to Washington D.C. for the national DREAM Act graduation ceremony!

Get to Know FLIC’s Social Justice Scholars

22 Jun

Note: Our amazing communications intern, Mariana Barbosa, interviewed her fellow interns. Get to know them by checking out these brief bios, below, and be sure to say hello when you stop by FLIC or FAMN, in Little Haiti’s Dessalines Center!

Joshua Adams was born on September 21st, 1993 in Toronto, Canada. He currently lives in Miami Shores. He attends MAST Academy (Maritime and Science Technology) where he is a part of the Young Democrats, Ocean Conservation Club and the Social Studies Honor Society. He’s a new intern for Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director of the coalition. In his spare time he enjoys skating, surfing, playing football, playing Xbox Live and hanging out with friends. He hopes to attend USC or UCLA and become a sports physician. “I’m really looking forward to a summer of hard work, but a summer filled with great reward as well,” says Joshua.

Mariana Barbosa was born on April 16th, 1993 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. She lives in Kendall and attends Design and Architecture Senior High. She is part of the Architecture strand, a member of the National Honor Society, and the French Club. For the past year she has worked with The Children’s Trust in their Youth Advisory Committee. She interns for Katherine Gorell, FLIC’s Communications Coordinator. Her hobbies include volunteering, sailing, reading, yoga and going out with friends. She hopes to attend the University of Miami’s School of Architecture and become an Architect. “This opportunity given to us will aid us into becoming committed and passionate activists who see something in society that must be improved or changed, and give us the will power to do something about it. The work we are doing together as a team will not only greatly impact our own lives, but the lives of others as well” she states.

Michelle Castel, a native of Miami, Florida, was born on January 6th, 1992. She now lives in Miami Shores and attends school at Booker T. Washington Senior High School. She is a part of Spicy Spinner, The School Band, and the Finance Academy. She interns for Francesca Menes, Community Organizer. She takes pleasure in reading, doing hair, photography and music. She hopes to be an international marketer in the future. “I hope to gain more experience in the work force and learn as much as I can on the job” states Michelle.

Roderick Davis was born on April 10th 1992 in Opa Locka, Florida. He now lives in Carol City, where he attends Carol City High School. Roderick is an active member of the Future Leaders of America. He is working for Subhash Kateel, Community Organizer. His hobbies include writing poetry and playing football for the Carol City Chiefs, but he longs to be a graphic designer. “This summer I hope to educate, as well as be educated on the rights of immigrants. I have high expectations for this summer and I know for a fact that this will be a great learning experience” he said.

Jeffrey Jullot was born on July 18th, 1993 in Miami, Florida. He now lives in Homestead, where he is a student at South Dade Senior High. He is a part of 5,000 Role Models and FBLA. He is a We Count! intern, and will be working on their campaign for restorative justice this summer. In his spare time he enjoys playing basketball, football, reading books, and writing poetry. When he grows up, he hopes to be a successful businessman. “I hope to learn more about the situations in our community and how we can help change them. I’m excited about getting to know everybody and figure out how we can put our heads together so we can make great changes in our community” he said.

Leudy De Los Santos was born on September 22nd, 1992 in the Virgin Islands. She lives in Miami, Florida where she is a student at Miami Jackson Senior High School. She is a member of the Honor Society, Sophomore Board, basketball and softball team. She interns for Danna Magliore at FAMN (Haitian Women of Miami). Her hobbies include basketball, watching movies, dancing and playing video games. “One of the quotes I live for is: “I’ve been through a lot of stuff, but Imma keep my head up like my nose is bleeding” by Lil’ Wayne. This quote made me realize that everything I’ve been through in the past stays in the past. I’m going to life for today, and then accomplish my dreams and become successful in life. This quote is going to help me overcome the obstacles that I may have in this program this summer.”

Bryan Ruiz was born on March 19th, 1993 in Miami, Florida. He lives in Homestead, where he attends School at Robert Morgan Educational Center. He works with We Count! around issues of restorative justice. His hobbies include lifting weights, playing keyboard and guitar, and jogging in the mornings. He plans to become a pilot for an airline when he grows up. “I would like to learn from FLIC how to better understand as to why people act the way they act, such as, racism, gender and power. What I’m most excited about is being able to meet new people and expanding my knowledge from what I am going to learn from the staff. Also, the trip to New York City is going to be REALLY FUN” says Bryan.

Daniela Sosa was born on January 7th, 1993 in Havana, Cuba. She lives in Kendall and is a student at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High. She is a member of the Cambridge Global Studies Academy, the Ecology Club, Global Arts Club, and the Social Studies Honor Society. Her hobbies include reading and enjoying movie nights with her friends. She wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up. This summer she’ll be helping organize events. “I hope to make life long friends while doing something that can change people’s lives for the better,” said Daniela.

Daiyaan Toffie was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He lives in Dadeland and is a student at South Miami Senior High. He is on the basketball team and is a Dade County coach for Ludlam Elementary. His job entails being an organizer–sending e-mails, making calls etc. and interacting with FLIC members and allies. In his spare time he plays basketball, hangs out with friends, watches sports and goes shopping. “When I grow up I hope I can help change the world and become president of team operations of a professional sports team. I’m excited about the new things I will be learning at FLIC. My overview of FLIC is an amazing organization and willing to help anybody,” Daiyaan said.

Hulya Miclisse-Polat
was born on May 27th, 1993 in Montreal, Canada. She lives in Homestead and attends Homestead Senior High School. Hulya is a majorette for her school band, Women of Tomorrow Secretary, a member of DFYIT and the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. She is an intern and school organizer for We Count!. She hangs out with friends, shops, reads mystery and drama books, and volunteers. She hopes to become an important leader in her community who is very involved when she grows up. “I am very excited about the program; it will definitely be a memorable and beneficial experience for me. It will expand my knowledge for social and restorative justice–issues that are happening in my environment. Together, we will be able to learn things that we cannot get from a classroom, prepare for the real world, and become great leaders one day” says Hulya.

Anti-immigrant vigilantes kill a father and daughter in Arizona

15 Jun

floresSee the story here.

Racist hate crimes against Latinos and immigrants are on the rise–and hate groups like these must be countered with common sense!

Miami City Commission Urges President Obama To Grant Temporary Protected Status To Haitians In The United States

13 Jun

Excellent news–hopefully more cities throughout Florida and the nation will pass similar resolutions!

MIAMI – City of Miami Commission Chairman Joe Sanchez, backed unanimously by the City of Miami Commission, passed a resolution Thursday, June 11, 2009, urging President Barrack Obama to grant temporary protected status (TPS) to Haitians in the United States.

“We are urgently calling on President Obama to do the right thing,” Sanchez said.

TPS suspends the deportation of undocumented Haitians already in the U.S. and allows the granting of work permits that can last up to 18 months.

“As a proud member of Miami’s Haitian community, and an advocate for the humanitarian treatment of all people, I am pleased that Chairman Sanchez and the City Commission is poised to set an example for the rest of the country to follow,” said Francesca Menes of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. Menes added, “Haiti has been devastated–environmentally and economically–and Temporary Protected Status would help Haitians here and abroad.”

Haitian workers in the United States support relatives back home with remittances to Haiti from the United States estimated to be more than $1 billion.


“Hurricane season is upon us and the nation of Haiti has barely recovered from last season’s devastating storms. It is imperative that we grant temporary protected status to Haitians in the U.S., so their work here can help fuel the rebuilding back home,” Sanchez said.

FLIC videos!!

8 Jun

Check out these wonderful videos, produced by our friend Cristian Ortez:

South Florida Wage Theft Task Force

February TPS Rally