Recent polling and news coverage shows that Venezuelan voters in Florida are turning against Senator Marco Rubio. After President Biden granted eligible Venezuelans, most of whom are in South Florida, Temporary Protected Status, Venezuelan leaders in Florida have urged Rubio to support a pathway to permanent residency for those with TPS.
Not only has Rubio cowardly refused to step up, he recently went a step further and outright opposed permanent status for TPS recipients, stating that he wanted them to return to Venezuela.
Venezuelan leaders have since called out Rubio’s abandonment of their community, calling it a slap in the face. Today Florida Democrats joined Venezuelan leaders from across the state to discuss how Rubio has put his own self-serving political agenda ahead of the needs of their community.
See highlights from the press call below and watch a full recording here.
“TPS is a victory for our community. With so many Venezuelans in Florida, TPS not only protects our community, it’s a boost to our state’s economy…Even as he made repeated campaign promises to support a path to permanent status, Rubio has been too weak to follow through…Rubio’s cowardly refusal to support giving the same opportunities and protections to Venezuelan families that his own family benefited from is a shameful example of him putting his political agenda ahead of what’s right for the people he represents,” said María Antonieta Diaz, a business owner from South Florida.
“We are not props, we are human beings and we have suffered already a lot. Many Venezuelans believed that Senator Rubio was honest about his empathy towards our suffering. He was not. He used our pain, our desperation, and our hopelessness…That’s something that we won’t forget in the midterms. Marco Rubio of all people knows exactly what it’s like for these [Venezuelan] families…That makes it all the more appalling that Marco Rubio refuses to support us. His weakness on immigration issues, inability to get things done, and refusal to support a path to permanent status for TPS recipients is a complete betrayal,” said Ade Ferro, a Venezuelan community organizer.
“My family came to this country escaping the Maduro regime, the same way Marco Rubio’s family escaped Cuba a few decades ago. Since day one, the only thing my family has done was work hard…It is scandalous that one person can say, ‘you know what, you don’t deserve to be here, you should go back and work hard in your country and rebuild it’ when what we’re doing here is building a stronger and better America,” said Cecilia Gonzalez, a TPS recipient from Central Florida.
“Senator Rubio…is very poor at the time of action. And right now the Venezuelan community is suffering from the need of his voice in our favor…He hasn’t sent even a single tweet [about] work permits that have been delayed…delayed due to what the Trump administration did to the immigration [system]…The Hispanic vote is fundamental in Florida…Senator Rubio, you need to listen to us,” said William Diaz, founder of Casa De Venezuela.