June 10, 2020

FIU Dreamers await U.S. Supreme Court decision this month [Miami New Times]

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Joshua Ceballos of Miami New Times writes:

"Toward the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Florida International University students Noris Rivas and Ivan Vazquez applied for emergency aid from their school. Rivas wanted funding so she could pay for summer classes, and Vazquez needed financial help after losing his restaurant job.

But both were denied federal aid because they are not legal citizens of the U.S. — they're Dreamers.


The Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added]... released a study last month that found that almost one-third of all essential workers in Florida are immigrants. Immigrants comprise a major part of the workforce in building cleaning services, trucking, warehouse work, postal work, and healthcare. In Miami, those numbers are even greater.

Alexis Davis, a policy analyst with the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], tells New Times that Latinx immigrants make up a much larger majority of the essential workforce in Miami-Dade than in the state overall. Countywide, 69 percent of essential workers are Latinx, compared to 26 percent in Florida, and 65 percent of essential workers are foreign-born versus 28 percent statewide, according to Davis.

'This data likely reflects what we already knew — that South Florida is home to the highest share of immigrants in the state and that the majority of Florida's immigrants identify as Latinx,' says Davis, adding that the state also needs to dedicate more attention to non-Latinx immigrants from Haiti and Jamaica."


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