Yesterday, Congresswomen Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and State Senator José Javier Rodríguez, whose districts encompass a large population of Cuban immigrants, condemn the increasing numbers of Cubans being deported and detained under Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.
Florida Democrats have been calling on the administration to stop the deportations and detentions of those fleeing dictatorships in their countries, like Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans, as well as filing legislation to restore the Cuban Family Reunification Program ended by the Trump Administration.
South Florida is home to the largest population of Cubans in the United States, and have been impacted by a series of efforts led by the Trump administration to target immigrants, including an increase in deportations and detentions of Cuban citizens. In the last year, deportations and detentions of Cubans increased 155 percent and a 600 percent increase in the last two years. According to NBC, about 5,000 Cubans have received deportation orders since the new U.S.-Cuba agreement, and 1,300 of them have been deported.
U.S. Representative Donna Shalala:
“This rocketing numbers of deportations are a clear example of how the Trump administration continues to ignore the suffering of people fleeing dictatorships. What I hear from my constituents is that they feel this administration is no longer treating them with dignity or respect. The contributions made by the Cuban community to South Florida are immeasurable and it is a shame to see how this administration is only focused on keeping more and more Cubans in an unsafe situation.”
U.S. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell:
“It breaks my heart to see how this Administration’s efforts to deport those who have fled their countries from violence and persecution, are impacting one of our largest and most integral communities in South Florida. They are judiciously following a legal path to residency while Trump’s policies make it impossible to seek refuge. I emigrated from Ecuador when I was 14, and I understand what it’s like to leave a country where your future is uncertain. I stand with our Cuban community and have introduced legislation to reunite families and protect them from the suffering of being detained or deported. I hope this Administration will follow our lead and protect those who seek refuge from tyranny.”
State Senator José Javier Rodríguez:
“The Trump administration is systematically dismantling the asylum process that has had bipartisan support for a long time. When it comes to Cuba, it makes me wonder if Trump Republicans no longer believe Cubans can suffer persecution by the communist government.”