USF Student says he'll engage in 24 hours of speech to incite President Obama to visit Tampa

Hernandez says that Florida's issues are not those that a border state like Arizona has to contend with.  "The big misconception is that all Latins and all immigrants are Mexican," he says, "but there are people from Central and South America and Carribean immigrants here, so you have a lot of diversity."

Of Flores he says, "Cubans - as soon as they touch land, they're golden, but their counterparts, they have to work in the Blueberry fields."

Hernandez supports SB 318,  sponsored by Democrat Gary Siplin, which would allow undocumented students to receive in-state tuition at Florida colleges and universities.

He says that some of his material that he hopes to read during his 24 hour presentation include some of his own writings, as well as from the U.S. Constitution and from Howard Zinn's The People's History of the United States.

The "protest/speech" begins next Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. at the Russel M. Cooper Hall on the USF Tampa campus.

Saying they're concerned about proposed budgets cut to higher education and anti-illegal immigration legislation in Florida, a group of USF students say they intend on breaking a record for the longest political speech combined ever - at 78 hours - with Student Body president Cesar Hernandez alone attempting to speak for 24 hours consecutively - all in an attempt to have President Obama come to Tampa to address them directly about their issues of concern.

Speaking to CL on Thursday, Hernandez admits the obvious - staying awake for 24 hours straight will be difficult, let alone speaking for that entire duration. But he says the issues that he and many of his schoolmates are concerned about necessitate such drastic action.

"I want to put my money where my mouth is," he says, as he talked about the disgust that he felt about plans in Tallahassee to possibly raise tuition at Florida state universities by 5 percent.

Hernandez and many other of his fellow students - particularly Latinos - have been passionately protesting proposed legislation in Tallahassee that would mimic in some ways Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration bill, and that's another reason for their collective protest next week.

The bills being sponsored are HB 7089 in the House by Republican Will Snyder that would make being undocumented a state crime (it's a federal one now), and in the Senate SB 2040, proposed by Miami's Anitere Flores. That bill would require the police the check the status of an inmate and would require employers to check employees’ immigration status (as does Snyder's bill).

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