Miami-Dade County Mayor Levine Cava, Business and Faith Leaders Came Together at the Miami Opportunity Summit To Discuss Insights on How Immigrants Have Helped Build South Florida
MIAMI, FL – Today, the Miami Opportunity Summit brought South Florida leaders together to discuss the region’s current immigration landscape. Hosted by Catholic Legal Services in collaboration with American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), Miami-Dade County, the Archdiocese of Miami, and the Beacon Council, the summit explored bipartisan solutions to longstanding immigration challenges as well as different avenues to collaborate to leverage the talents of new arrivals for South Florida’s continuous growth.
On the keynote panel, ‘Redefining Narratives: Embracing New Arrivals as Valuable Contributors,’ the speakers emphasized the importance of reframing conversations to recognize the value of immigrants in creating inclusive and prosperous communities.
“Miami-Dade thrives with contributions of people from around the world who have made our county their home,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “We have always been a community that welcomes people who come seeking freedom and opportunity after fleeing oppressive governments, violence or devastating natural disasters. We understand their suffering and respond with compassion, because we know that when people are given a second chance at life, they give it their all to succeed, build a legacy for their families and contribute to their community. It’s not a coincidence that immigrants make over 70 percent of all the business owners in our county and are more than half of our workforce,” added the Mayor.
Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, emphasized the benefits of a diverse community, saying, “Miami’s experience over the years testifies to the benefits that migration can bring to a community. We are a dynamic, prosperous and resilient community here in South Florida not in spite of immigration but because of it.”
“Florida would only be hurting itself by not welcoming and integrating newcomers into our communities,” Mike Fernandez, CEO at MBF Healthcare stressed. “Immigrants are an integral part of our communities and provide a wide range of perspectives, and not to mention, they contribute greatly to tax revenues and the economy overall. I know firsthand, first from watching my father and then from living it myself, that your immigration status does not indicate your ability to succeed and contribute. I am just one out of millions of immigrants who have embraced this country, paid taxes, and helped make Miami the great community it is.”
Rodrick Miller, CEO at Beacon Council added: “South Florida is a community led by immigrants, Miami is a prime example of the transformative impact hardworking people determined to build a better life can have on a community. It was their entrepreneurial spirit that largely built Miami into the diverse business hub that thrives today, and I welcome the opportunity to join local leaders in fostering ideas on how to support these newcomers and ensure we continue to grow our economy in a way that is inclusive and competitive.”
American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) is a bipartisan coalition of over 1,200+ CEOs, business owners, and trade associations across 17 mostly red and purple states. ABIC promotes common sense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.
Catholic Charities Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc., also known as Catholic Legal Services, is a nationally recognized agency with an experienced team of attorneys and immigration professionals. CCLS mission is to provide professional legal services, both application assistance and attorney representation before the Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals, to those who come from foreign lands who lack sufficient means to obtain representation without regard to faith or national origin.