January 15, 2020

Legislature needs inclusive approach to immigration policy [Orlando Sentinel]

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.

Florida is one of five states that, collectively, are home to more than half of U.S. immigrants who are undocumented. People who are undocumented support our communities and economy in significant ways. Half of Florida’s 766,000 undocumented immigrants have been here for 10 years or more, paying nearly $600 million in local and state taxes each year.

But efforts to marginalize immigrants have ramped up at the federal level, including community raids and deportations and indefinite family separation, to name but a few.

Thankfully, state policy choices can provide a counterweight to these harmful federal actions. During the 2020 legislative session, Florida lawmakers have the opportunity to adopt pragmatic policies designed to treat all citizens fairly and promote shared prosperity.

Read more on orlandosentinel.com

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