Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 091531
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File Number: 091531 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-626-09 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: URGING CONGRESS TO AMEND IMMIGRATION LAWS Introduced: 5/18/2009
Requester: R. A. Cuevas, Jr. Cost: Final Action: 5/19/2009
Agenda Date: 5/19/2009 Agenda Item Number: 14A9
Notes: CO-PRIME SPONSORS Title: RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS AND PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION TO AMEND IMMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES TO ADDRESS CHILDREN WHO ARE U.S. CITIZENS AND WHOSE PARENTS HAVE BEEN DEPORTED; URGING CONGRESS AND THE STATE OF FLORIDA TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE HEALTH, EDUCATION, HOUSING, NUTRITION AND GENERAL WELFARE OF SUCH CHILDREN; DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR DESIGNEE TO DEVELOP MEANS BY WHICH MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CAN ASSIST SUCH CHILDREN; DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR DESIGNEE TO RESEARCH AND FIND A SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR AMERICAN FRATERNITY, INC. AT THE FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL LEVEL
Indexes: IMMIGRATION
  ORPHANS
  URGING
Sponsors: Sen. Javier D. Souto, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 5/19/2009 14A9 Adopted P

County Manager 5/18/2009 Additions 5/19/2009

County Attorney 5/18/2009 Referred Housing & Community Development Committee

County Attorney 5/18/2009 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS AND PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION TO AMEND IMMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES TO ADDRESS CHILDREN WHO ARE U.S. CITIZENS AND WHOSE PARENTS HAVE BEEN DEPORTED; URGING CONGRESS AND THE STATE OF FLORIDA TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE HEALTH, EDUCATION, HOUSING, NUTRITION AND GENERAL WELFARE OF SUCH CHILDREN; DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR DESIGNEE TO DEVELOP MEANS BY WHICH MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CAN ASSIST SUCH CHILDREN; DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR DESIGNEE TO RESEARCH AND FIND A SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR AMERICAN FRATERNITY, INC. AT THE FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL LEVEL

BODY
WHEREAS, at the May 5, 2009 meeting of this Board, Nora Sandigo provided a citizen presentation regarding the plight of children who are left orphans by U.S. immigration policies when their parents are deported; and
WHEREAS, these children, some of whom appeared before the Board and testified on May 5, are U.S. citizens, yet when their parents are deported, these children’s lives are thrown into disarray; and
WHEREAS, this situation leads not only to instability in children’s lives, but to substantial financial, emotional and psychological problems for hundreds of children in our community who are U.S. citizens but who become orphans when their parents are deported; and
WHEREAS, some minor children end up living with extended family members, while others who have no family members here and end up with few places to turn for food and shelter; and
WHEREAS, one child testified about losing everything and having to live in a two room home with nine people making it hard to concentrate in school and sleep at night, while another testified that with her mother and baby brother, she had to live in a home with no electricity after her father was deported; and
WHEREAS, one of the fundamentals underlying U.S. law is that the interests of a child are rightly put above all other interests, yet the interests of a child who is a U.S. citizen and whose parents are deported is not receiving sufficient recognition under current immigration policies; and
WHEREAS, these are children who were born here in the U.S. and have done nothing wrong, yet their lives are turned upside down when their parents are deported; and
WHEREAS, Nora Sandigo is founder and executive director of American Fraternity, Inc., an organization based in Sweetwater that provides social services to immigrant families; and
WHEREAS, Sandigo herself serves as legal guardian to over 400 children in our community who have become orphans after their parents were deported; and
WHEREAS, a concerted effort needs to be undertaken at the federal, state and local levels to help and protect these children who live in our community; and
WHEREAS, Congress and the President Obama’s Administration should quickly improve life for children who are U.S. citizens by stopping the deportation of immigrants who have no criminal record and who have minor children who are U.S. citizens; and
WHEREAS, Congress and the President Obama’s Administration should also amend immigration laws and policies to create an expedited legal process whereby American Children can petition for the U.S. Residency of their deported parents and minor siblings through their legal guardian in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the federal government as well as the State of Florida should provide funding for the health, education, housing, nutrition and general welfare of these American children who are left orphaned because their parents have been deported; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County should find ways to assist these children and members of our community, including but not limited to undertaking a public information campaign to make the residents of Miami-Dade County aware of the plight and needs of these children, providing a mechanism to contribute food, medicines, clothes and money to these children, and opening Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue stations and other suitable County departments and facilities; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County should find ways to assist these children by researching and finding sources of funding at the federal, state or local level for the important work done by American Fraternity, Inc. to help meet the needs of these children,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges Congress and President Obama’s Administration to amend immigration laws and policies to address Children who are U.S. citizens and whose parents have been deported.
Section 2. Urges Congress and the State of Florida to provide funding for the health, education, housing, nutrition and general welfare of such children.

Section 3. Directs the Mayor or Designee to develop ways to assist these children and members of our community, including but not limited to undertaking a public information campaign to make the residents of Miami-Dade County aware of the plight and needs of these children, providing a mechanism to contribute food, medicines, clothes and money to these children, and opening Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue stations and other suitable County departments and facilities.
Section 4. Directs the Mayor or Designee to research and find sources of funding for American Fraternity, Inc. at the federal, state or local level to help meet the needs of these children.
Section 5. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to Senators Martinez and Nelson, the members of the Miami-Dade County Congressional Delegation and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Section 6. Directs the County’s federal lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above, and authorizes and directs that the 2009 and 2010 Federal Legislative Packages be amended to include this item.



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