MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Local leaders and business owners gathered Tuesday to celebrate Miami’s many immigrants and what they bring to South Florida’s table.
At Venture Hive, a firm that helps entrepreneurs start up companies, a half a dozen young immigrant business owners were rolled out, like Dominican Jorge Estrella.
“We actually have a team in Miami with seven developers,” said Estrella, who runs a tech firm that helps clients with cloud-based applications.
Tuesday’s event applauding immigrants comes as President Donald Trump presses on with plans to find and deport some 11 million undocumented aliens. The administration is proposing to add 15,000 new agents to help get the job done.
“Even if they’ve been good people, they’re going to be sent back. There’s a lot of anxiety, about separation of families and it’s just an uncertain time,” said Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R)FL District 27.
In his own party, many say Trump should focus instead on comprehensive immigration reform.
“That is one of the reasons why people are so frustrated with politics, why people have lost faith in our politics because seemingly nothing can get done,” said Congressman Carlos Curbelo, (R)FL District 26.
At a Home Depot in Cutler Bay, a group of immigrants, many of them undocumented, gathered waiting in hopes of getting some day labor work. News of the president’s accelerated immigration crackdown caused worry among them.
“You’re always afraid to be in this country undocumented,” said Carlos Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.
“People come here and they work their hearts out and now they have to fear this,” Sanchez said, referring to the president’s immigration enforcement plans.
A Republican on Tuesday took a shot at Trump’s unrelenting assault on the media, so-called ‘fake news,’ and labeling journalists “the enemy.”
“To the members of the press, I want to say thank you to you. You are not the enemy of the American people. You have an essential role in our republic,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “Even when you criticize public officials, we know your job is essential to keep a free and independent press, so thank you for what you do.”
If the Trump administration has shown division, it expands to members of his own party who see a president on an unpredictable tear, and who has failed to consult with them on plans he has rolled out and those yet to be unveiled.
President Trump’s immigration agenda is moving forward very rapidly with the head of Homeland Security ordering his agents to immediately and aggressively detain undocumented immigrants – to focus on those who have committed crimes, but also to arrest and deport others “they encounter.”