Venezuelans are continuing to call out Marco Rubio for being too weak to stand up for their community. With tens of thousands of Venezuelan immigrants in Florida living with Temporary Protected Status, leaders are imploring Rubio to support a path to permanent residency, yet Rubio has refused to support them.
In a new op-ed, Pastor José De Jesús Palmar Morales, a Venezuelan TPS recipient, slams Rubio’s ineffectiveness on immigration issues as “heartbreaking” and calls his insistence that Venezuelan immigrants return to Venezuela “a slap in the face to my community.”
Read key excerpts from the op-ed below:
Orlando Sentinel: Op-ed: We’re living in limbo. Senators, help Venezuelans with path to citizenship
By Father José De Jesús Palmar Morales
- I never thought I would leave Venezuela in the 30 years I served as a Catholic priest there before 2017, when I started receiving death threats for my vocal opposition to the corrupt, tyrannical, socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
- I am just one of a diaspora of 60,000 Venezuelans living with TPS in Florida today, all of us fleeing tyranny in the only country we had ever known. There is no going back. Through sheer force, Maduro still holds power in Venezuela today.
- While my status allows me a work permit, I am also forced to live my senior years in an unrelenting state of anxiety, never knowing if or when I could be forced to flee what has become another homeland for me.
- Our senators know about mine and my compatriots’ struggles — and contributions — all too well. Sen. Rubio is, after all, the son of Cuban immigrants. He knows first-hand the grit and determination it takes to leave your homeland and make it in America.
- So, it’s heartbreaking to watch both Florida’s senators sit on the sidelines, refusing to help shape bipartisan immigration solutions and thereby playing politics with our lives.
- A recent poll by the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) found that not even Trump voters support deportation — only 17 percent are in favor — yet that is the fate TPS holders face unless senators, including Rubio and Scott, pass a pathway to citizenship. They should know that Florida’s Venezuelans are paying attention.
- Rubio responded to news about the public poll by professing his hope that we Venezuelans will one day return home, a slap in the face to my community which has already established deep roots here. As my friend William Diaz asked him, when Cuba’s regime is gone, will he go back to Cuba to be a governor of a province there?
Florida Democratic Party Chair Lambasts DeSantis as the Governor Calls for a Special Session of the Legislature to Ban COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Requirements
On Thursday, October 21, 2021, at a news conference in Clearwater, Florida, Governor DeSantis called for a special session of the Florida Legislature to ban employee vaccination requirements in the state, withdraw liability protections from companies that adopt that policy and toughen enforcement of the law that prohibited school districts from enacting masking protocols.
In reaction to this development, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:
“Governor Ron DeSantis has doubled down again on policies to sabotage our nation’s health and slow our economic recovery. When it comes to our families and their health, he believes big government should control and make decisions over every aspect of our lives. After all, he would have us accept and trust the imposition of his arbitrary preferences over the judgment of our doctors, schools, businesses and families.
“DeSantis proves every day that COVID-19 has no better friend in Florida than the Governor of our state. Calling a special session to further hamper efforts to vaccinate our population and to more efficiently deny local governments, schools and businesses the option to adopt prudent health protocols to combat the pandemic goes beyond irresponsibility, it is a full-on assault on our state’s public health and provides more evidence of the Governor’s anti-business and anti-freedom inclinations.
“Just as the summer’s delta wave appears to be receding, DeSantis is redoubling his efforts to ensure that COVID-19 continues to ravage our state for as long as possible. With an ever-present possibility of more deadly or contagious variants developing and causing more illness, deaths and economic damage, there is simply no worse time to insist on his cynical political games designed to thrill the radical anti-vaccine, anti-masking extremists in the GOP base.”
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