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Florida

Keeping the American Dream Alive for Florida’s Immigrant & Minority-Owned Small Businesses

Florida

About ABIC Florida

ABIC Florida, also known as IMPAC Fund, is a growing and diverse set of businesses and business associations promoting bipartisan common sense immigration solutions at the federal and state levels that benefit the people and economy of Florida. We recognize immigrants’ important contributions to our communities and economies.

Our goal is to unite across diverse sectors — high-skilled and low-skilled employers, large corporations and small businesses — in a successful push for sensible immigration reform alongside elected officials and immigrant advocates.

Our Florida State Representatives

State Director, Florida

Samuel Vilchez Santiago

Samuel Vilchez Santiago is ABIC’s Florida State Director. He is originally from Venezuela, and came to the U.S. as a political asylee at an early age. Prior to joining ABIC, Samuel was the Human and Civil Rights Manager at ActBlue and the Florida Campaign Manager at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an umbrella coalition of national civil rights organizations. Samuel obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford. He is a recipient of President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award and the Congressional Youth Award.
Florida Deputy State Director

Maria Corina Vegas

At IMPAC Fund, American Business Immigration Coalition’s (ABIC) Florida chapter, Maria Corina works with businesses, community leaders and employers to build bipartisan support for federal and state immigration solutions, with a primary focus on providing a path to permanence for Venezuelan, Haitian, Nicaraguan, Salvadorans and other communities which have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as well as Dreamers. Maria Corina immigrated from Caracas, Venezuela when she was 24 years old and is fluent in Spanish.

What We Do

ABIC Florida

Amplifies the voices of Florida’s Venezuelan TPS holders: In September IMPAC Fund released original polling demonstrating the dissatisfaction  Venezuelan American Florida voters and residents have with members of Florida’s congressional delegation who fail to support legislating a path to citizenship for the state’s Venezuelan TPS holders. The poll showed potential consequences for incumbents seeking re-election in 2022. In addition to the poll, Venezuelan-American leaders, economists, and business owners held a press conference to make the case that a pathway to citizenship leads to economic growth and should be included in the reconciliation process. 

Amplifies the voices of Florida Business Leaders: Also in September, IMPAC Fund coordinated the signing of a letter delivered to the Florida Members of Congress from   business leaders from Florida asking them to support a path to permanence to Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and essential workers. Doing so will allow them to fully contribute to our economic prosperity as we rebuild and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advocates for bipartisan solutions: IMPAC Fund brings together immigrants’ rights advocates from both sides of the aisle to press Congress for immigration reforms. In August, 2021, we hosted eleven prominent democratic and republican politicians and business leaders, reflecting a united front for a path to citizenship for the Florida immigrant population. 

Partners with Florida universities on behalf of Dreamers: Dreamers are among Florida’s best, brightest, and hardest working college students. We partner with universities to advance a path to citizenship for Dreamers so that they can fully participate in our economy. 

Led opposition to flawed e-verify system: When the Florida Senate took up the idea of forcing all Florida employers to use the intrinsically flawed, inefficient and expensive e-verify database to filter out undocumented immigrants, IMPAC Fund led the fight against it. 

News & Updates

Read the Latest News & Commentary

July 12, 2022

Venezuelan-American and Pro-Business Organizations Welcome the Extension of TPS for Venezuelans and Call for Redesignation and Permanent Immigration Solutions

March 10, 2022

Associated Press: Editorial Roundup: Florida

March 10, 2022

Florida Politics: Legislature approves immigration crackdown, handing Gov. DeSantis another win

Steering Committee Members

Mike Fernandez

Michael B. Fernandez

Chairman, MBF Healthcare Partners
Wendi Adelson

Wendi Adelson

Immigration Attorney
Cesar Alvarez

Cesar Alvarez

Senior Chairman, Greenberg Traurig
Tony Argiz

Tony Argiz

Chairman & CEO, MBAF
Julio Avael

Julio Avael

Founder Avael Law Firm, LLC
Allan Bense

Allan Bense

Former Florida House of Representatives Leader and Speaker of the House
Bruce Berkowitz

Bruce Berkowitz

Chief Investment Officer, Fairholme Capital Management
Leonard Boord

Leonard Boord

Founder, Slon Capital
Al Cardenas

Al Cardenas

Senior Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
Alberto Carvalho

Alberto Carvalho

Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Schools
Ambassador Paul Cejas

Ambassador Paul Cejas

Chairman, PLC Investments
Mayor Manny Diaz

Mayor Manny Diaz

Former Mayor of Miami, Partner, Lydecker Diaz
President, Florida Democratic Party

Paul DiMare

Paul DiMare

President & CEO, Dimare Fresh, Inc.
Richard Fain

Richard Fain

Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
John Feeley

John Feeley

US Ambassador, Retired
Felice Gorordo

Felice Gorordo

CEO, eMerge Americas
Dr. Pedro Jose Green

Dr. Pedro Jose “Joe” Green

Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Professor and Chair for Department of Medicine, Family Medicine and Community Health, Florida International University
Matthew Grosack

Matthew Grosack

Partner, Holland & Knight
Pilar Guzman

Pilar Guzman

CEO, Half Moon Empanadas
Augustin "Tino" Herran

Augustin “Tino” Herran

CEO and President, Sedano’s
Linda Julien

Linda Julien

Contract Compliance Manager, City of North Miami
David Lawrence

David Lawrence

Chair, The Children’s Movement of Florida
Aida Levitan

Aida Levitan

Chairperson, U.S. Century Bank Board of Directors; President of The Levitan Group; President of ArtesMiami
Jose Mas

Jose Mas

CEO, Mas Tec, Inc.

Lisa Mendelson

Lisa Mendelson

Philanthropist and Educational Activist
Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning

Former NBA Player, Founder, Mourning Family Foundation
Mario Murgado

Mario Murgado

Chairman & CEO Brickell Motors

Ana Navarro

Ana Navarro

CNN Political Commentator
Dr. Eduardo Padrón

Dr. Eduardo Padrón

President, Miami Dade College

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