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Mother Being Forced To Leave Country Saturday Joins U.S Rep. Castor, State Rep. Valdés, Business and Community Leaders to Call on President Biden to Keep Her Home, Extend Work Permits to Long-Term Immigrants


Alexandra Juarez, a Military Spouse and Mother Being Forced to Leave Country Says: “All that can help me is an act of God or President Biden”

Tampa Elected Officials to Join Business, Faith and Community Leaders Call on President Biden To Extend Work Permits to Long-Term Immigrants, Say Action Needed in 2024

TAMPA — Today, a military spouse and mother deported under President Trump named Alejandra Juarez, who is being forced to leave the country on Saturday, spoke alongside U.S Rep. Kathy Castor, State Rep. Susan Valdés and leaders from the American Business Immigration Coalition, Chambers of Commerce, religious groups and American Families United participated in a press conference to highlight immigrants’ impact on the economy and to urge President Biden to expand work authorization for long-term immigrants. This policy would protect Florida families and ensure Florida businesses have access to a strong and stable workforce.

There is a nationwide movement to expand access to work permits for long-term undocumented immigrants and Florida leaders are at the helm. Rep. Valdés and more than 140 local and state elected officials from 21 U.S. states and territories, signed a letter in support of extending work permits to these groups. The policy is estimated to increase annual tax revenue by $13.8 billion while shielding immigrants from exploitation and advancing a strong workforce that matches worker skills to employers’ needs. View the full letter here.

Here’s what the speakers had to say:

Alejandra Juarez, a mother of a mixed-status family, military spouse and American Families United member, shared her family’s story alongside her teenage daughter; she will be forced to leave the country in two days’ time:

“On Saturday, I will no longer be here. This Saturday, June 1, my kids will no longer have their mother here to guide them, to make them breakfast, to give them strength and advice when life gets hard or to lead them through the trials and tribulations of growing up. Most people assume that by marrying an American citizen, a person can automatically legalize their status and become a citizen — but that’s just not the case. After 9/11, my husband was called into active duty and I was left to take care of an 11-month-old baby, on my own. Over the past 20 years, including during my husband’s time in the military, we have done everything and anything to legalize my status. We have spent a substantial amount of money but nothing has worked. Now, all that can help me is an act of God or President Biden.”

U.S Rep. Kathy Castor, (D-FL-14):

“Our immigration system is broken. We need President Biden to use his executive authority to grant a limited exception to allow spouses of U.S. citizens to get work permits and get on a pathway to work and a pathway to citizenship.”

Florida State Rep. Susan Valdes, (D-Tampa):

“This group of business owners and managers, community leaders, advocates and elected officials have come together because we all know that our nation’s economy depends on immigrants. Expanding work permits to immigrants already here in our country, who have been contributing to the economy and paying taxes, provides a significant public benefit. This will help to bridge the gap between open jobs and willing workers. This solution not only benefits our growing economy, but it is also the compassionate thing to do. There are many families in our country who face being separated from their friends and family, unsure when they will be reunited again. Our federal government must act now.”

Romy Moreno, Florida Deputy Director of the American Business Immigration Coalition:

“Alexandra is being forced to leave the country this Saturday, even though she is a military wife and the mother of two U.S. citizens. Because of her lifetime immigration bar, her parole is expiring and after more than 20 years, she has been unable to adjust her status. This is wrong and President Biden has the authority to act.

“It is doubly outrageous, given our labor shortage. Florida only has 53 available workers for every 100 open jobs and, according to the U.S Chamber of Commerce, our state had over 570,000 open jobs this year.”

Mercedes Young, President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay and President of Vivid Consulting Group:

“We are not requesting handouts, we are requesting to give us the right to be here and do what we have continued doing in service not only to take care of our families, but to serve our community. As a representative and voice for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay, I really, really request that we can get an answer [to our demand].”

Danielle Hernandez, President of the Tampa Bay Latin Chamber of Commerce, Law Founder, Community Leader and Advocate:

“As a representative and voice for a smaller newer Chamber of Commerce, exemplifying the majority of new businesses coming into the Tampa Bay community that are Hispanic-owned and most people that come to the United States, I have learned from our colleagues at one of the banks that within a year of opening a bank account, they come back the next year to open a business bank accounts for their business. This administration has the ability to take action almost overnight.”

Crystal Rivera, General Manager of Hotel Flor:

“My grandmother was an immigrant and came to this country, worked her way through in hotels as a housekeeper for me to be here as a GM of Hotel Flor. […] Most of the workforce that we have in the tourism industry are DACA holders or undocumented immigrants. So, for me, it’s a matter that we want to keep pursuing and getting this passed.”

Ivan Sanchez, Volunteer with The Farmworkers Association of Florida:

“The Farmworker Association of Florida recognizes the invaluable contribution of its workers, some of whom have been working in the United States for over 15 years, without a path to residency. Many workers have expressed that E-Verify has created unfavorable conditions, including being afraid to speak up on how they are mistreated in their workplace as they fear retaliation and risk not being hired elsewhere. We must strive to create fair, efficient and just policies that acknowledge the exceptional contributions of immigrants, while addressing the challenges they face.”

Pastor David Cantillo, Pastor for Tampa para Cristo Church:

“Immigrants come to this country to work and provide for their families. In doing so, they sustain the local economy and support their communities. We should help them to achieve those goals — not make it more difficult.”

Gregorio Burgos, Community Leader and Advocate:

“What are we waiting for? What are you guys arguing about? What is going on? We have families that are being affected. We need to stop this now.”


American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) is a bipartisan coalition of 1,400+ 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.