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TALLAHASSEE – State Senator Darren Soto (D-Orlando) on Thursday called on Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to halt her legal efforts to block immigrant children and their parents from their quest for U.S. citizenship.
“Many of these children were brought here by their parents as refugees from extreme poverty and violence in their home countries. Others were born here and face the breakup of families through deportation thanks to the Congress’ failure to act,” said Senator Soto. “The attorney general needs to accept the reality that President Obama’s executive order was not only within his constitutional authority but his moral authority to maintain a pathway to citizenship for eligible Dreamers and their parents.”
Despite Congress’ ongoing inaction and the urgency of addressing the immigration issue, Florida is one of 26 states that have filed suit to block the president’s executive order expanding the so-called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” or “DACA” program for eligible children, allowing them to remain and work here legally. On Monday, a federal judge politicized the case, and issued a temporary injunction. The decision not only blocked additional immigrant children from applying to the program, but a similar effort authorized under the President’s order aimed at allowing their parents to remain in this country as well. The Obama Administration has indicated it would challenge the judge’s ruling.
“In her tenure as Florida’s top lawyer, Attorney General Bondi has repeatedly wasted taxpayers’ money to pursue her own ideological agenda,” said Soto. “She has challenged every humane action by this president, whether it was broadening affordable health care access for working families, or now, ending the plight of children and their parents who escaped one set of horrors only to now face another. It’s time to put down the legal weapons, and allow the United States to fully embrace this new group of immigrants seeking sanctuary as it has countless others before them.”
Florida Senate Democratic Office