Tampa Dream Defenders fight for Licenses for All

Several states - including Washington and New Mexico - have already passed legislation allowing immigrants to obtain legal licenses. Several others are currently debating the issue. The Tampa Dream Defenders aim to get Florida involved in the issue.

The speakers from the Tampa Dream Defenders included Marisol Marquez, Maritza Jaramillo, Veronica Juarez, Jonathon Salegio, and Andrea Hurtado. On Friday night in Seminole Heights, each speaker gave a story about the hardships of their family and the hardships of many other illegal immigrants.

Those center on the fear of deportation and the loss of family and friends. Many of their parents came here to make a better life for their children and family, but live in poor conditions and frequently have to acquire illegal documentation to support themselves and loved ones.

The Tampa Dream Defenders believe that one of the ways illegal immigrants are found and deported is when they are caught driving a vehicle without a legal driver’s licenses. These individuals are frequently deported. If these individuals reenter the United States they can never legally become a U.S. citizen.

Marisol Marquez spoke about the racism that illegal immigrants face in this country. She believes that the term “Alien” is a label given to illegal immigrants and some feel that the label is an excuse for unjustified harsh treatments.

Most states continue to bar illegal immigrants from getting licenses. Driver’s licenses have become a common form of identification and in many places a primary proof of one’s eligibility to work in this country.

Maritza Jaramillo believes that issuing illegal immigrants driver’s licenses would make it easier for the “community to move and it would even give money to the state.”

Marisol Marquez spoke about the Tampa Dream Defenders’ goals for the legalization of all, ending the second class treatment, and ending the repression of illegal immigrants.

They believe that by issuing legal driver’s licenses to immigrants, it could stop some of the hundreds of thousands of deportations taking place annually under the Obama administration.

Their first step is to organize at Tampa’s City Hall on April 18th to get their cause put on the City Council agenda and then to petition for action. They anticipate participation from other local organizations including United We Dream, SWEAR, and several others.

They also plan to raise awareness and money for a "Mega March" in Miami. And to further their legislative goals as far as the people and the government will allow. They aim to pass their Licenses for All cause on a city, county, state, and even federal level.

  • Speakers for Tampa Dream Defenders: Jonathan Salegio, Andrea Hurtado, Marisol Marquez, Veronica Juarez, and Maritza Jaramillo.

The Tampa Dream Defenders aim to follow in the footsteps of civil rights activists including Malcolm, Garvey and King. They aim to fight for the legalization of undocumented immigrants.

Their first goal is to pass legislation to give those illegal immigrants the opportunity to be issued a legal driver’s license.

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