Darren Soto to Join Dinner Supporting Immigration Programs

Sen. Darren Soto will be meeting with an immigrant advocacy organization to talk about immigrant action programs and how they will affect immigrant families in the Sunshine State.

On April 10, Soto will join the Young American Dreamers as part of a nationwide set of dinners to speak with five Florida families the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and the Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), a planned immigration program which would give deferred action to the parents of children who are either native American citizens or are lawful permanent residents of the United States.

Florida has long been one of the most active places in the country for immigrants due to its proximity to the Caribbean and Central America. A 2013 survey found nearly four million of Florida’s residents were born abroad, or about one in every five people.

Those numbers mean a big impact from local and federal immigration policies. Approximately 229,000 Florida immigrants would be eligible for deportation deferral, work permits, and state driver’s licenses under the immigration programs.

Deferred action doesn’t necessarily mean these immigrants would be granted full legal status, but they’d be given a three-year, renewable work permit and would also be exempt from deportation.

Soto will also discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, which would allow children who entered the country before their 16th birthday to receive a two-year work permit as well as an exemption from deportation.

Both policies were executive orders from President Barack Obama and have come under intense fire from national Republican leaders.

By Allison Nielsen for Sunshine State News
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