Immigrant rights groups to rally at Sen. Marco Rubio's office as part of national week of action

05/31/13 Roberto Roldan
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The Tampa Dream Defenders, along with other immigrant rights organizations, are demanding amnesty and equal rights for all 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S . This week is a Legalization for All National Week of Action.

The National Week of Action comes as lawmakers in Washington debate the proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill. A spokesperson for Tampa Dream Defenders, Veronica Juarez, said the movement Legalization for All aims to present an alternative to the bill.

“It’s more of a network where people are pushing for everyone to have an equal opportunity to become legalized, rather than what is proposed with the CIR.”

The Tampa Dream Defenders have re-vamped their petition drive for their Licenses for All campaign to allow undocumented immigrants in Florida to apply for drivers' licenses.

“It is important for undocumented immigrants to have licenses because it is probably one of the biggest a lot reasons a lot of people are detained and deported. Without licenses they would not be able to go to work, drop off their children and follow their daily routines. Many people don’t find this important, but if they cannot do these kinds of things it will be difficult to work and once they have their licenses they would have more of an incentive to go through the documentation process because it is difficult and it is expensive.”

The week of action finale is a rally tonight at 6:30 p.m. outside of Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s office in Tampa. Rubio helped draft the bill which has come under scrutiny by Democrats who say the thirteen year path to citizenship is too long and costly to be effective.

“The message we are trying to send across is that we need equality and legalization for all 11 million immigrants. This includes LGBT families, no more repression at the workplace, no more second class treatment, and no more funding the border with ICE, which, with the bill, would fund them about $18 billion a year.”

Currently, Tampa Dream Defenders have obtained more than 150 signatures for their Licenses for All petition. They plan to take those to Tampa’s City Council, in hopes that city council members will endorse future legislation.

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