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Media Advisory: Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski and FL Business and Community Leaders tell FL Gov. DeSantis: ‘Children, Yes!; Politics, No!’

By February 10, 2022No Comments


LOCATION: Archdiocese of Miami Pastoral Center
9401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami Shores, FL 33138
Watch Livestream here:



Waging war on immigrants hurts kids and the economy

MIAMI – This Thursday, The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), its Florida chapter IMPAC Fund, the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), and the Venezuelan American Alliance will convene a press conference with Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski and business and community leaders who were Pedro Pan Airlift participants – to urge Gov. Ron DeSantis and state legislative leaders to stop advancing anti-immigrant policies that hurt children and Florida’s economy.

Pedro Pan Airlift participants will include Tony Argiz, Chairman & CEO, Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLP; Elena Muller Garcia, retired staff of Catholic Charities of the diocese of Palm Beach; and Felice Gorordo, son of Pedro Pan participants, IMPAC Fund Board Member and CEO of eMerge Americas.

The press conference will call attention to the true immigration crisis DeSantis seeks to create with his recent anti-immigrant executive order and pending state legislation that would target, among others, undocumented children and damage Florida businesses in the process.

WHAT:   Archbishop Wenski will join IMPAC Fund/ABIC, Venezuelan American Alliance (VAA) and Community Press Conference – Children Yes, Politics No!


  • The Most Reverend Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Archdiocese of Miami 
  • Mike Fernandez, Chairman, MBF Healthcare Partners; Founder, IMPAC Fund; Co-Chair, American Business Immigration Coalition
    • Tony Argiz, Pedro Pan participant; Board Member, IMPAC Fund; Chairman & CEO, Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLP
    • Elena Muller Garcia, Pedro Pan participant; retired staff of Catholic Charities of the diocese of Palm Beach
    • Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Miami
  • Maria Antonietta Diaz, Founder and President, Venezuelan American Alliance
  • Tessa Petit, Co-Executive Director, Florida Immigration Rights Coalition 
  • Felice Gorordo, son of Pedro Pan participants; Board Member, IMPAC Fund; CEO, eMerge Americas
  • Fr. Reginald Jean-Mary, Pastor, Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church
  • Moderator – Maria Corina Vegas, Coordinator, IMPAC Fund/ABIC

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 10, 1:30 pm ET

WHERE: Archdiocese of Miami Pastoral Center, 9401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami Shores, FL 33138

Watch Livestream here:


In 2021, Gov. DeSantis passed executive order 2021-223 which effectively cuts off state funding to any agencies, including Catholic Charities, that provide services to unaccompanied undocumented immigrant children. While this action’s constitutionality is currently being considered under appeal by the 13th Circuit, Florida state leadership is following up with SB1808 and HB1355, bills which would ban state or local government contracts with firms that provide transportation to unaccompanied undocumented immigrants. You can read more here.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is once again stoking the anti-immigrant fiery rhetoric with his executive order banning licenses to federally funded shelters that house unaccompanied immigrant children. That policy would be compounded by proposed state legislative provisions aimed at keeping undocumented immigrants, including unaccompanied children, from reuniting with Florida families, by banning state and local government contracts with transportation carriers that service undocumented immigrants. These policies hurt Florida businesses and citizens facing extreme labor shortage and rising prices. 

Last week, following Archbishop Wenski’s appeal “Why is governor going after children?,” ABIC delivered a letter to DeSantis and FL State House and Senate leadership signed by nearly 50 business leaders and several survivors of the Pedro Pan Airlift calling on DeSantis to end his latest anti-immigrant campaign. 


The American Business Immigration Coalition (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.

IMPAC Fund, Florida chapter of the American Business Immigration Coalition, represents a growing and diverse set of businesses and business associations promoting common sense immigration solutions that benefit the people and economy of Florida.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition is a statewide alliance of over 60 member organizations, including farmworkers, students, service providers, grassroots organizations and legal advocates, who come together for the fair treatment of all people

The Venezuelan-American Alliance creates awareness of the social, political and economic situation in Venezuela among the United States government and population; advocates for legislation, regulation and programs to support and promote freedom, democracy and human rights for its population and diaspora; and helps regain the road to prosperity.