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Florida officials call on GOP lawmakers to protect immigrants' rights

Call to action after Trump's comments

A group of elected officials came together Tuesday, three days before the U.S. presidential inauguration, to speak out in support of Florida's immigrant community.

State Sen. Victor Torres joined State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Rep. Amy Mercado in a joint press conference outside Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's Orlando office.

"We're here to call on Sen. Rubio to join us in pushing back on the Trump administration's hostility towards undocumented residents in Florida," Smith said.

The lawmakers gathering came after President-elect Donald Trump vowed to take executive action on border security his first day in office.

"We're going to go very strong (on) borders," Trump said during a weekend interview. "From the day I get in, (it's) one of the first orders I'm going to sign.  Day one."

With the status of millions in the balance, many wonder exactly what actions will be taken.

High school student Jessica Guevara voiced concerns that her father, who immigrated from Mexico, could be deported.

"I'm scared of coming home from school one day and not having my dad there," Guevara said.

The group of Latino officials said Guevara's family is one of the many that they're hoping to protect by calling on Rubio and other U.S. lawmakers to help.

"It is their responsibility and their obligation to do right by its citizens and to advocate for common sense immigration reform," Smith said.

In response to Tuesday's press conference, a spokesperson for Rubio wrote:  “Senator Rubio understands we need to secure our borders, stop visa overstays, modernize our legal immigration system, and enforce our immigration laws fairly and humanely. He welcomes input from people who are serious about solving our immigration challenges and is hopeful we’ll be able to make real progress on these goals in this new Congress.”​


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