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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Immigration advocates make plea for reform at Sen. Marco Rubio's Tampa office

Immigration advocates gathered outside Sen. Marco Rubio's Tampa office on Wednesday.


Immigration advocates gathered outside Sen. Marco Rubio's Tampa office on Wednesday.




About two-dozen immigration advocates gathered in front of Sen. Marco Rubio’s Tampa office Wednesday as part of the Keeping Families Together campaign.

Florida is among 19 states participating in the campaign, which aims to bring national attention to families separated by deportations.

Some of the caravans made a pit stop at Rubio’s office, where several immigrants shared their stories.

Among them was Amalia Carranza. Her husband was deported more than a year ago. She lives in Plant City with her children, ages 8, 6 and 5.

“Sen. Marco Rubio, we need your help and collaboration,” Carranza said through tears. “I am among the families that come to this country and are separated.”

Her children, she said, still ask for their dad.

“They don’t understand what laws are,” Carraza said. “They only ask, ‘Why isn’t daddy with us? Why did dad leave? Why did he leave us?’ ”

The group also presented a petition with more than 2,000 signatures collected statewide asking for Rubio to support comprehensive immigration reform.

After the gathering, Ryan Patmintra, Rubio’s regional director, met with Carranza and several others in private.

More than a dozen passenger vans from across the state are scheduled to arrive in Miami on March 10 for the Calle Ocho Festival.


[Last modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 2:41pm]


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