Immigrant rights activists are calling for Florida politicians to push a new approach to immigration reform. The group held a press conference on the steps of the Historic Florida Capitol Tuesday.
Karen Woodall, executive director of the Florida People’s Advocacy Center, petitioned the state’s Congressional representatives. Woodall asked Republican U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and incoming Rick Scott to help stop what she calls “inhumane” treatment of immigrants at the border.
“Instead, put our resources and their heads together to work with the countries in Central America that are experiencing the problems that are causing their people, their communities to seek refuge in Mexico and in the U.S.,” Woodall said.
Elizabeth Ricci, a Tallahassee-based immigration attorney, says demand for illegal drugs is a driver of the problem.
“Unless, or until, the demand for illegal drugs in this country is curbed, however, we will continue to see men, women and children detained, separated and deported,” Ricci said.
The rally is in response to the recent death of a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who died of dehydration, after being arrested north of the U.S.-Mexico border.