Florida’s Caribbean Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Hazelle Rogers Pushing Biden-Harris Ticket

Mayor Hazelle Rogers

Mayor Hazelle Rogers

by Howard Campbell

[SOUTH FLORIDA] -On November 3, Hazelle Rogers is widely expected to be re-elected for a second four-year term as mayor of Lauderdale Lakes in South Florida. Yet, the veteran Jamaican politician has her eyes on a much bigger prize.

Rogers is chairwoman of the Statewide Caribbean Democratic Caucus, designated to get the West Indian vote out in Florida for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the presidential election.

Given what critics of President Donald Trump consider his racist policies against immigrants, she stressed the importance of Caribbean-Americans supporting Biden and Harris to win the crucial state of Florida which Trump won in 2016.

“I spend most of my time walking, talking, advocating and making sure we are responsible with our votes,” said Rogers. She noted with Harris’ parents being from Jamaica and India, her organization has partnered with the South Asian Democratic Caucus to ensure a massive turnout from both countries.

“We’re doing our part as immigrants. We are excited about the next vice president being a black woman with roots in the Caribbean and India,” she said.

There have been reports the Biden campaign has expressed concern about a lack of enthusiasm among Caribbean-Americans in South Florida. It is estimated that bloc amounts to over 500,000 voters; Rogers, who migrated to the United States in 1969, is aware of their anxiety.

“They are expecting a lot from us. Reinstating DACA and the TPS is important because providing a path to citizenship benefits us all,” Rogers reasoned.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was implemented in 2012 by President Barack Obama to give permanent status to undocumented persons who were brought to the US as children. Most of them, now adults, are from Latin America.

The Trump administration rescinded that order in 2017, one year after taking office. But in June, the Supreme Court ruled against his decision.

TPS (Temporary Protected Status) is granted to people from 10 countries in the midst of armed conflict or natural disasters. Many citizens from Haiti are beneficiaries of the TPS which has also been scrutinized by the Trump administration.

Rogers moved to South Florida in 1981 after 12 years living in New York. She was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2008, representing District 94. Four years later, she was elected unopposed to represent District 95 when the region’s boundaries were redrawn.

In 2016, Rogers was elected mayor of Lauderdale Lakes. Helping to make Donald Trump a one-term president means a lot to her.

“We need to remove him from the White House, evict him from the White House with our vote. That’s the only way to get rid of him and it needs to be done convincingly so that we don’t have to take him to court to get him out,” she said.

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