8 Florida Reps, including Charlie Crist, call on Biden Admin to Offer TPS for Nicaraguans

Eight members of the Florida congressional delegation sent a letter to President Joe Biden and U.S Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas calling upon the Department to redesignate and extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans fleeing the oppressive Ortega regime.

The letter was signed by U.S. Representative Charlie Crist D-St. Petersburg and noted that more than 60,000 Nicaraguans in the U.S. could face punishment by the Ortega regime if returned to Nicaragua. Crist made a statement on Friday.

“I am deeply concerned for members of Florida’s vibrant Nicaraguan community at risk of deportation if Temporary Protected Status is not extended. “The dictator Daniel Ortega’s repressive socialist regime poses a threat to the over 60,000 Nicaraguans living in the United States, and their forced repatriation would put them at high risk of political persecution, arrest, and violence. Much like Florida’s freedom-loving Venezuelan and Cuban communities, we must stand by our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters who want freedom and safety from persecution. ¡Viva Nicaragua libre!”

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Other members of the Florida delegation who signed the letter include U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor D-Tampa, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick D-Delray Beach, Stephanie Murphy D-Winter Park, Maria Elvira Salazar R-Coral Gables, Darren Soto D-Kissimmee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz D-Weston, Frederica Wilson D-Miami, according to Florida Daily.

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Calling for the implementation of democratic institutions in Nicaragua and denouncing the suppression of human rights in Nicaragua, Cherfilus-McCormik argued that “The repressive and abusive acts of the Ortega government and those who support it should compel the United States to act.”

Several Florida organizations are backing the letter, including the Florida Immigrant Coalition, Miami Freedom project, American Friends Service Committee, Immigration Action Alliance, Immigration Hub, Farmworkers Association Nicaragua American Human Rights Alliance, Hope Community Center, and Alianza Americas.

The letter reads “The combined effect of the Ortega regime’s socio-political oppression, failed response to the COVID pandemic, and back-to-back hurricanes in early 2020 crippled economic opportunity of the already second-poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.”

Pleading President Biden to extend the TPS to the thousands of Nicaraguans, the letter makes it clear that Nicaragua’s socialist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) elicits no desire to operate fairly or democratically, as the regime operated to “jail and torture political opposition during the 2021 election demonstrate their commitment to violence and repression of the Nicaraguan People, while justice eludes the families of up to 600 peaceful protesters murdered by the regime in 2018.”

The letter has been sent to the President just after the U.S recorded record migration encounters, and as U.S. Border Patrol reported processing migrants 191,898 times along the southern border in June, a nearly 14% drop from May when the agency carried out over 222,000 apprehensions, an all-time monthly high.

Adding on to recent events, the Biden Administration has just agreed on a $1.5 billion deal with Mexico to manage migrants on the Southern border, enhance screening processes, and modernize ports of entry. Taking into account June’s numbers, U.S. border authorities have processed migrants over 1.7 million times in the fiscal year 2022, a tally that exceeds 2021’s record numbers. In the month of June alone, 11,000 encounters involved Nicaraguans.

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