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November 1, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Grant Fox

Haitian Community Leader Slams Marco Rubio’s Ineffectiveness During Critical Time For Haitian Immigrants

In a recent op-ed for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Jude Derisme, a Haitian labor leader, slams Senator Marco Rubio for being too weak to stand by his community during the recent influx of Haitian immigrants and Ron DeSantis’ executive orders cracking down on immigration. Derisme joins a growing number of immigration advocates calling out Rubio for cowardly abandoning their communities and failing to stand up to his party’s anti-immigrant policies.

Read highlights from the op-ed below:

By Jude Derisme

Key points: 

  • Our state, in particular our state’s economy, relies on Haitian immigrants, who are overwhelmingly represented in critical industries including health care and tourism. Haitians form the bedrock of Florida’s immigrant community.
  • That’s why it’s so disheartening to see so-called leaders like Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis abandon us at such a pivotal moment. In late September, DeSantis issued a new executive order that will put immigrant communities across Florida in danger.
  • Rubio has followed the governor’s lead, proving once again that he is too weak to stand up to his party when its leaders attack immigrants. He has stood silently as DeSantis’ executive order drew criticism from across the state. Even when DeSantis barred state agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities — something Rubio has criticized in the past — he had nothing to say.
  • Instead of standing up to help Haitians in need, using his office to coordinate with community groups, or working with the Biden administration, Rubio is standing on the sidelines launching political attacks. He’s spent more time talking to Fox News hosts about the border recently than talking with Haitian families in Florida.
  • Sadly, this isn’t new for Rubio. Our senator has always lacked the political courage to create real change in our immigration system. From abandoning a bipartisan immigration reform plan he originally supported to opposing a path to citizenship, Rubio has never had the backbone to deliver the change we need, and communities like mine have paid the price.
  • Rubio and DeSantis have made it clear that they would rather use Haitian migrants as political props than stand with our community.

~~Kari Lerner, Lee County DEC State Committeewoman