Miami Event Will Be the First Time President Obama Has Officially Met Face-to-Face With Undocumented Immigrants
MIAMI – On Wednesday, February 25th, Telemundo and MSNBC will host a bilingual town-hall style forum with President Obama, set to air on both channels at 7:00pm ET/6:00pm CT. The ground-breaking event, pre-recorded at Florida International University in Miami, will be the first time that the President will officially meet undocumented Americans, face-to-face. Despite all the attacks on immigrant families in Congress and in the Courts, President Obama will use the forum to interact directly with the community and explain how he plans to defend his new immigration actions.
In an exclusive op-ed today in The Hill, President Obama explained:
“[L]ate last year, in the face of congressional Republicans’ continued refusal to act, I took new common-sense steps within my authority to fix as much of our broken immigration system as possible. The steps I announced will help us secure the border, prioritize scarce resources, and hold millions of undocumented immigrants accountable by requiring them to pass background checks and pay taxes in order to have a chance to temporarily remain here without fear of deportation. These steps are good for our economy, for our families and for our country. They are also the kinds of steps taken by every Republican and Democratic president for the past half-century.”
Immigrant community leaders from Florida have been selected to attend the forum:
Viviana Beatriz Ivalo (Miami, FL), 47, came to the US with her husband and four children 15 years ago in the midst of Argentina’s economic crisis. Her husband died 3 years ago from cancer. The jobs he had to do and not being able to get proper medical attention due to being undocumented made it impossible for him to get treatment and recover. Viviana is now head of the family and looks after her 4 sons. She is likely eligible for the new DAPA program because some of her sons are now US citizens or legal permanent residents.
Josephine Alexandra Barbot (Miami, FL) Originally from Haiti. She has lived in the United States since 2002 and received TPS in 2012 after the earthquake in Haiti. Speaks English & Kreyol.
Julio Calderon (Miami, FL) Originally from Honduras, Julio is a DREAMer that didn’t qualify for the 2012 DACA because he crossed the desert and entered just 2 months after turning 16 years old. Speaks English and Spanish.
Catalina Santiago (Florida) is a DREAMer who now has DACA. Originally from Mexico, both her parents would likely benefit from the new DAPA program. Speaks English and Spanish
Amrry González Pérez (Florida) Originally from Nicaragua, has spent 15 years living in the US. Undocumented. Amrry is advocating for driver’s licenses for undocumented families in Florida.
Maria Asuncion Bilbao & Mauro Kennedy Originally Argentina, came to the U.S. 14 years ago due to Argentina’s economic crisis. They are business owners and homeowners, and benefit from DAPA because their son is a legal permanent resident. Mauro suffers a degenerative illness that affect his bones and he really depend on applying for DAPA to get hip surgery.