Today's date is February 25, 2020

Rep. Shalala, State Sen Rodríguez Condemn Trump’s Unprecedented Deportation and Detention of Cuban and Venezuelan Asylum Seekers

Miami, Fl — Hours before Trump returned to Miami for a Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting, Florida Democrats held a news conference condemning Trump for his policies to detain and deport immigrants fleeing brutal dictatorships. The Trump administration said it would deport any immigrant in the country without documentation, including thousands of Cubans and Venezuelans seeking asylum.
The speakers included U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala; State Senator José Javier Rodríguez; Dr. Frank Mora, Cuban American and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere; and Leopoldo Martinez Nucete, a Venezuelan American, DNC Member and Latino Victory board member.
Statement from Rep. Donna Shalala on Trump’s Immigration Policies:
“President Trump has demonstrated incredible hypocrisy when addressing the challenges facing the people of Cuba and Venezuela,” said Rep. Shalala. “While he and his Republican allies claim to be friends of their long-suffering people, they consistently turn their backs on them when they seek refuge in the United States. We cannot claim to be champions of democracy while punishing those fleeing oppression – it is wrong and un-American.”
  • Last week the Miami Herald reported that there are more than 20,000 Cubans in the U.S. with deportation orders.
  • In 2019, Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported deporting 1,179 Cubans back to the island. This is a dramatic increase compared to the 463 Cubans deported in fiscal year 2018.
  • Last September, 120 people were put on a single flight from New Orleans to Havana, making it one of the biggest Cuban deportation efforts in recent years. But many of those who were sent back passed credible fear interviews, the first step in the asylum process.
  • More than 300,000 Venezuelans live in Florida, according to a 2018 University of Miami study.
  • Democratic members in Congress have passed legislation to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans in the US, increase the humanitarian aid funds, and prohibit deals with the Venezuelan government. The program would allow Venezuelan citizens to get a driver’s license and permits to work and travel. Senate Republicans blocked the legislation.
  • The Trump administration has denied almost half of the Venezuelan applicants looking for asylum in the US, and this number will continue rising due to Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration. Despite several pushes in the legislature to grant Venezuelans TPS, Trump has yet to take action on it.

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