SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The immigration issue was the subject of another roundtable discussion in Sunrise on Monday.
South Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hosted the strategy session which included activists, lawyers, Broward School District representatives and temporary protective status or TPS recipients.
“We are talking about kids who are poised to contribute as citizens of the United States of America,” said the congresswoman. “The present approach will tear families apart.”
Representatives from the Broward County Public Schools district, local attorneys, and some TPS recipients weighed on the future of immigration at a roundtable discussion in Sunrise.
All agreed that something must be done to counter President Donald Trump’s plan to end TPS next year and allow the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to expire next month.
The Trump administration has been systematically ending TPS programs for people from Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Trump has said he will agree to a DACA deal in exchange for money to build a wall along the border with Mexico. The president is demanding $25 billion for the project.
“We cannot afford to go back,” said Broward School Board member Rosalind Osgood. “What he’s talking about is “Make America White Again.”
“As a mother, I can’t imagine the fear of being sent back without knowing anyone,” said School Board member Robin Bartleman.
Recent images of undocumented immigrants being pulled off buses in South Florida has added to the fear and confusion about who will be deported and when.
“I felt Haiti was too small for my dreams,” said Farah Larrieux who now runs a communications company.
She’s worried that she will be forced to return to Haiti, which is still recovery from the devastating earthquake of 2010.
“I’m trying to remain optimistic and strong, but not everyone can do it,” she said.
Wasserman Schultz opposes President Trump’s current immigration proposal which would create a path to citizenship for DACA dreamers but eliminate most family migration.
“We are gonna fight like hell to make sure every student is protected and assured a great future,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.
The Broward School Board has passed a resolution to protect the children of undocumented immigrants who fear deportation.
Those at Monday’s discussion say they know that they must continue to fight the fight and keep their voices heard in Washington.