On May 3oth, Tampa Dream Defenders planned on gaining further support from the Tampa City Council but unfortunately we were unable due to the fact that no city council meeting was held. We were fortunate enough to have an interview with WMNF News where I talked about TODAY’S protest at Senator Marco Rubio’s office.
When I first walked into the studio, I was really nervous. Not because I didn’t want to talk but because I did not want to undermine the importance of the protest. I kept thinking about everything that my mother and older brother had to struggle with when they were applying for permanent legal residency, from the fear of deportation to the thousands of dollars for lawyers and paperwork. There are about 11 million undocumented immigrants who are not able to become legalized and that is something I find completely unjust. Everyone should have equality without having to pay thousands in absurd fees, everyone should live without the fear of being deported or cornered at their jobs by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).
After the microphones were checked, I was asked to define Tampa Dream Defenders and the work we do. I talked about how we are an organization that is primarily composed of Black and Brown youth and how we fight for equality and against continued injustices even after the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960’s. I talked about what Tampa Dream Defenders had been doing for the Week of Action for Legalization for All 11 million undocumented immigrants. I talked about how we collected over 200 signatures on Wednesday, May 29th ALONE to urge our leaders to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. We understand driver’s licenses are NOT a guaranteed end to deportations but we know driving without a license has been an excuse used to detain and eventually deport undocumented immigrants. This leads to the tearing apart of families and orphaned U.S. citizen children.
I was then asked, “Why protest Senator Marco Rubio?”. Sen. Marco Rubio has been an integral part of the new Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill Proposal. The “Gang of 8” includes both Democratic and Republican Senators like Rubio who are not actually working to make CIR better for all 11 million. The new CIR Bill Proposal actually makes undocumented immigrants’ situations worse: it would keep people in temporary worker programs and extend the process of becoming a legal permanent resident. Tampa Dream Defenders is trying to push for legalization for everyone, for the fair treatment at the workplace, and to stop funding the $18 Billion going to Secure Communities and ICE. There were so many other things I was wanted to say but I became too excited and couldn’t continue talking. Overall the interview went pretty well and I think I got the important information across!
You will be able to hear my interview ONLINE and on your radio today at 4pm! If you’re in Tampa, the radio station is WMNF Community Radio Station on 88.5 FM and for streaming please click this link: here. Again the interview will air at 4pm EASTERN Time.
Everyone and anyone who can should come out and join us tonight, May 31st at Marco Rubio’s office. We are going to start around 6:30 pm. The address is 802 Spectrum Blvd. Suit 106. Tampa, FL 33612. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!