GOP Hispanic Leader Organized Meet with Dems to Oppose DeSantis’ on Illegal Migrants

A Republican Hispanic leader, Lydia Maldonado, organized what seems to be a Democrat Hispanic rally opposing Governor DeSantis’ bill signing for legislation to crack down on illegal immigration, and she’s running for chair of the local Palm Beach County Republican Party (REC). 

Maldonado is a local Hispanic leader who organized a meeting opposing Governor DeSantis’s bill signing for a law to stop illegal immigration in Florida. She is currently running for chair of the local Republican Party (REC) in Palm Beach County.

Maldonado claims to be against illegal immigration and supports SB 1718, ensuring that illegal immigrants will not be encouraged to come to Florida. Still, she was part of a group that tried to prevent DeSantis from signing the bill into law. It didn’t work. On May 10th, Governor DeSantis signed the bill, just in time for the end of Title 42, whose end will encourage a massive influx of illegal immigrants into this country. The new law will take effect on July 1st.

Lydia Maldonado is a pastor from Palm Beach County who has become a vocal member of the local Republican Executive Committee (REC) in Palm Beach County. She has been involved in many Republican events and has even run for office herself. She says she supports SB 1718, but she was one of the organizers of an event for local Hispanic leaders to get together to stop Governor DeSantis from signing the bill. A Jolt article came about the local opposition to the bill. Maldonado clarified that although she supported the governor, she wanted to avoid getting involved in what the governor was doing.

She failed to mention that she acted as a community organizer to put a plan into motion to stop the bill signing.

This letter shows organizations and local leaders that went to the community to encourage them to join the anti-DeSantis rally.

English version of the message. (Google Translate)

The day the last Jolt article broke, a shocking photo emerged of Maldonado in a picture with the Dem Hispanic Caucus of Palm Beach County with none other than current Republican County Commissioner and former REC chairman Michael Barnett. Barnett says that this was not a Democrat-Hispanic event. It was an event with Hispanic leaders from all parties to discuss the bill. He said that this wasn’t a group promoting amnesty for illegal immigrants but said the purpose was to get the governor not to sign the bill. 

This is a photo of a May 5th meeting for the Hispanic Democrat Caucus of Palm Beach County. The purpose of the meeting was to dissuade Governor DeSantis from signing SB 1718, a Florida First bill to prevent illegal immigrants from coming to Florida. Republican Lydia Maldonado is second from right, next to current Republican County Commissioner and former REC chairman Michael Barnett.

Subscribe to Florida Jolt Newsletter!

Barnett has made no secret that he plans to run for the seat he currently holds on the county commission. He recently moved to the heavily Hispanic District and has been actively campaigning for election. 

Maldonado and some others weren’t pleased when Governor DeSantis appointed former REC chairman Michael Barnett to the PBC County Commission to finish the term for a seat formerly held by David Kerner, whom the governor appointed to Executive Director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Maldonado felt that someone Hispanic should have been appointed to Kerner’s former seat. Some felt the same way as Maldonado, but others disagreed and didn’t like the idea of identity politics. Maldonado and Barnett have made amends, and she involves Barnett in Hispanic community events. 

County Commissioner Michael Barnett and Lydia Maldonado at a local Republican event.

Fast forward to the 2023 legislative session. An anti-illegal immigration bill passed along party lines. The gist of the bill is to strengthen laws already in place and crack down on illegal immigration. Employees with more than twenty-five employees will need to use e-verify to make sure they hire legal citizens. Noncitizens will not be able to become lawyers. Driver’s licenses from other states for illegals will not be recognized as legal in Florida. Hospitals must ask patients if they are legal citizens. The bill was sponsored by Republican State Representative Kiyan Michael, whose son was tragically killed by an illegal immigrant. Governor DeSantis signed the bill on May 10th and will take effect on July 1st. 

Those opposed to this legislation are primarily left-wing Democrats who claim that this law will harm the workforce and deprive it of labor. It will scare people from seeking medical treatment in hospitals. The Hispanic Democrat caucus of PBC rallied to oppose the legislation and discourage Governor DeSantis from signing it into law. A protest was held outside the courthouse, and petitions in opposition were signed, sentiments Michael Barnett echoed during a conversation with Jolt. A group of Hispanic leaders got together a couple of days before the rally on May 5th to discuss how to go about stopping DeSantis from signing the bill.

Maldonado was one of the people who organized that meeting. 

Democrat Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores was at the rally to oppose the signing of the anti-immigration bill.

Barnett had this to say to Jolt;

Many in the Hispanic leadership of Palm Beach County came to express their concerns about the Immigration Bill. As a Commissioner who represents a significant number of Hispanics, I went to ensure they knew I was there to support them and hear them out, educate myself as to why they oppose this Bill, and express their concerns to Tallahassee if need be to provide good representation. ~County Commissioner Michael Barnett 

Jorge Garrido is a Hispanic leader who is chair of a nonpartisan organization called The Hispanic Vote that endorses political candidates. He told Jolt that Maldonado invited The Hispanic Vote to the organization meeting for the rally to oppose the bill signing. Garrido fully supports the governor and the bill. Florida is a law and order state. He told her his organization would not participate in this meeting or the rally. Garrido told Jolt;

I ask some Hispanics that oppose SB 1718, ‘Where do you propose we build the tent city to house the tens of thousands of immigrants who will come here, and where are we going to get the money to pay for this?’ I never get an answer to these questions. ~Jorge Garrido, Chair of The Hispanic Vote

Garrido said that if Lydia Maldonado is the voice of Hispanics in Palm Beach County, why hasn’t she organized a rally against Biden’s immigration policy, causing all this chaos? She wants to be chair of the Republican Executive Committee, but where’s the leadership? 

The idea of any leaders being opposed to this law in any way is unfathomable, given the problems illegal immigration has caused with drugs and human trafficking alone. This new law is not meant to target any group of people. Legal immigration is strongly encouraged and welcomed in Florida. This law is a tremendous and much-needed policy.

Good for Governor DeSantis for signing this bill into law. This is Florida first.

Other stories you may want to read:

Some Palm Beach County Hispanic Leaders Oppose Florida Immigration Bill

Florida Dem. Wants to Increase Age to Buy Many Weapons to 25

Share via
Share via
Thank you for sharing! Sign up for emails!
Making our country Great Again and keeping America First takes teamwork.

Subscribe to our newsletter, join our team of Patriots, and read real conservative news you can trust.

Invalid email address
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Send this to a friend