Friday, March 11, 2011

Stand up against Arizona-type racial profiling and immigration laws

Dear Friends:

I am writing to ask for your participation in and support of a week of activities to show a united community front against Arizona-type racial profiling and immigration laws in the state of Florida.

As you probably know, the Florida Legislature, in the upcoming session, will consider a number of bills that are copycats of Arizona's infamous SB 1070. At this point 8 different bills have been filed, and more are expected before Legislature convenes its annual regular session next week.

These provisions in these bills include:

  • requiring the police to verify immigration status of persons during a legal stop if "reasonable suspicion" exists that they are undocumented
  • requiring jails to determine the immigration status of all detainees and police to enter into 287g agreements with ICE to enforce immigration law
  • prohibiting any state or local agency to limit in any way immigration law enforcement or inter-agency sharing of immigration status information, and giving any legal resident of the state the right to sue if an agency is in violation of this provision
  • state sanctions, including fines and jail time, for legal immigrants who don't carry their original immigration documents in public
  • making all employers use the federal E-Verify employment verification data base, with suspension of an employer's business license for knowingly hiring an undocumented person.

We have a great chance of defeating these bills. The Florida Immigrant Coalition and its member organizations have done a great job mobilizing people to hearings, and the bills have encountered significant business opposition. In other areas of the state there has been more press coverage favorable to our side than in Miami, including an in-depth series in the Naples News and an excellent editorial in today's Palm Beach Post (

However, we cannot take anything for granted. Any of these provisions would be potentially devastating for our community if passed, especially given that no positive immigration reform is forthcoming from the federal government.

WeCount! is organizing a week of activities from Saturday, March 19 through Thursday, March 26 to educate the community about the dangers of these bills, and to show broad community opposition to these bills and support for an inclusive, diverse community. We are calling it "We Are Homestead - Somos Homestead - Nou se Homestead."

Scheduled events:

  • Women's and Children's March

Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm

First Methodist Church (marching to Losner Park)

622 North Krome Avenue

Homestead, FL

  • Cultural Night

Saturday, March 19, 2011 from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm

Losner Park

622 North Krome Avenue

Homestead, FL

  • Soccer Match

Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Soccer field located behind Homestead Middle School

Cross streets:

  • Community Forum

Monday, March 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Everglades Village Community Center

19308 SW 380th Street

Florida City, FL

  • Interfaith Service

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

First Methodist Church

622 North Krome Avenue

Homestead, FL

  • 2 Movie Nights:

Monday, March 21, 2011 at 12:00 noon

Film: “Abused: The Postville Raid”

Miami Dade College – Homestead Campus

400 College Terrace

Homestead, FL

Wednesday March 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Film: “La Misma Luna”

We-Count! Office

201-207 North Krome Avenue

Homestead, FL

We are asking for your support for these events by helping to publicize them and encouraging people to participate. If you are interested in participating in any of the events please contact the WeCount! Organizer:

Lis-Marie Alvarado at or call: 786-523-2805

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