Our local Immigration Action Group stays informed on the issues, defining and promoting advocacy and educational goals each year. Through these efforts our goal is to make a difference in the lives of people who do not have the opportunity to speak for themselves.
In 2016, the Immigration Action Group launched a voter education campaign to lift up the issue of immigration and to build voter understanding. Please follow this link to access fact sheets and other important information on issues related to immigration.
Our local chair, Karen Coale, is also co-chair to the State League’s Immigration Committee, along with Kay Lahdenpera. In 2009, Immigration was proposed as a Program for the local League, based on a LWVUS position crafted seven years ago. It moved to working group status based on a lack of state focus and advocacy objectives in order to monitor state legislative issues and increase awareness to the general membership.
In the last year, immigration was identified as a second-tier State priority, but the introduction of punitive immigration bills (totally as many as 16) in the Florida legislature has prompted the working group to engage in advocacy in order to mount a defeat of those bills. The LWVSPA Immigration Action Group follows these bills closely and offers action steps for concerned citizens. Please find our Immigration Action Guide here.
As a result of the shift in priorities, the group has developed a Program, in which the focus will include both education and advocacy. Most recently, the working group hosted a very well-attended educational panel seminar on Human Trafficking at USFSP Student Center. This year the committee will take up a speakers bureau focus for education and legislative-based advocacy.
All of our immigration-related advocacy is based on the LWVUS Position on Immigration, the outcome of the League’s national study. The Position includes the need to “be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises.”
See the League of Women Voters of Florida Immigration Reform Facebook page for more information, and read a memo from the League of Women Voters of the United States to the U.S. House of Representatives. LWVUS Memo to House of Representives on Immigration Reform