Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics

Immigrants' stories underscore Rep. Castor's call for reform

Published Aug. 7, 2013

TAMPA — They stood donning collared shirts and suit jackets, flashing shy smiles before the gaze of half a dozen TV cameras. All told stories of sacrifice in pursuit of a better life.

They were a business technology consultant from England, a Spanish-language TV executive, a Vietnamese nail salon owner and a marketing professional of Portuguese descent.

They were immigrants and kin of immigrants. They were entrepreneurs. They were Americans.

And they, according to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, are the reason that the federal government must overhaul its immigration system.

"The problem is now our current immigration system throws up roadblocks to success stories like these," Castor said. "That's why it is important for the House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

In a Tuesday morning news conference, the congresswoman had each of the local professionals share their stories, punctuating their tales of sacrifice and success with a call for Congress to take action to make such stories an easier possibility for millions. These immigrants, she said, are proof of the tremendous impact that immigrants and their families have on the Tampa Bay area economy.

The news conference took place at the Waters Avenue office of Bayshore Technologies, whose chief executive officer, Peter Anderson, talked about his journey from England to play soccer with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Not long after he came to call Florida his adopted home, he married and went into business, building what would become a multimillion-dollar company.

"I have enjoyed Tampa more than any other city I have ever lived in," Anderson said. "Tampa and America have been very wonderful to me."

The others echoed his sentiments.

Castor used statistics to underscore her point about the economic impact of the immigrant community. Among them: 28 percent of American small businesses are started by immigrants, yet the same community accounts for just 13 percent of the U.S. population.

Through comprehensive reform, that economic impact could be much greater, Castor said. But she criticized her colleagues across the aisle, whose approach, she said, is not broad enough.

Speaking Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., detailed his party's approach to reform, saying they rejected a similar bill recently passed in the U.S. Senate.

"What we're going to do is take a step-by-step approach to get immigration right," Ryan said. "We want to be fair to that legal immigrant who did everything right in the first place."

Castor said the Republican proposals do little to alleviate obstacles that immigrants face in trying to become citizens.

"The House Republican leadership says, 'We want to do a little bit here and a little bit there,'" Castor said. "That's not good enough. . . . It's going to be the business community that is going to push this tea party Congress into action."

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker speaking during 2016 graduation ceremonies at the Florida State University College of Law. [Florida State College of Law] Florida State College of Law
    The ruling, if it’s not overturned, means that President Donald Trump will not automatically be first on the 2020 ballot in Florida.
  2. FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2019, file photo, Donald Trump Jr. speaks before the arrival of President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) JOHN MINCHILLO  |  AP
    University of Florida student body president Michael Murphy received a resolution for his impeachment Tuesday. Then the state’s Republican Party started an online petition and fundraiser.
  3. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Pensacola.
    Prosecutors say Farm Service Agency director Duane E. Crawson, 43, of Bonifay, led a conspiracy to get his friends, family members and acquaintances to recruit others to submit false applications for...
  4. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the Panama City City Hall on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. His wife Casey DeSantis is pregnant with the family's third child. He joked that the family will have to transition from "man-to-man to zone defense." (Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP) JOSHUA BOUCHER/ THE NEWS HERALD  |  AP
    The federal judge had ordered that 17 felons not be removed from the voter rolls before a lawsuit goes to trial next year.
  5. In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, waits in line at the federal court in Washington. MANUEL BALCE CENETA  |  AP
    Roger Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was found guilty Friday of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary...
  6. The Capitol is seen in Washington on. Impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump come at the very time that Capitol Hill usually tends to its mound of unfinished business. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE  |  AP
  7. This March 7, 2016, file photo shows the Trump National Doral clubhouse in Doral. WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    A party spokeswoman confirmed to the Miami Herald Thursday that the annual event, to be held over several days in late January, will take place at Trump National Doral Miami, located near Miami...
  8. Ross Spano serving in the Florida Legislature in 2017. The Dover Republicans 2018 campaign for Congress is now under federal investigation. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    The House Ethics Committee revealed the Dover Republican is under federal investigation for possibly violating campaign finance law.
  9. Student activists with the March For Our Lives group, founded after the Feb. 2018 Parkland shooting, hold a banner that promotes their new "peace plan" to prevent gun violence, while demonstrating in the rotunda of the state capitol building in Tallahassee. Emily L. Mahoney | Times
    The 18-year-old student director of March for Our Lives Florida said school shootings are so common they are “not shocking” anymore.
  10. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets local officials at Dunedin High School on Oct. 7, 2019, part of a swing around the state to announce his plan to boost starting teacher pay in Florida to $47,500. He revealed a related teacher bonus plan on Nov. 14 in Vero Beach. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The new plan would replace the controversial Best and Brightest model that DeSantis had called confusing.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement