Immigrant advocates in Miramar call system ‘broken,’ ask for change to TPS designations

MIRAMAR, Fla. – Immigrant advocate groups are once again bringing to light the plight of Central Americans trying to restart a life here in South Florida.

American Friends Service Committee of Florida, The Florida Immigrant Coalition, and The Miramar Circle of Florida joined together for a press conference Wednesday to seek immediate action on TPS re-designation for Central American countries.

The groups came together around 9:30 a.m. at ICE-ERO Center in Miramar demanding that the Biden administration designate and extend temporary protective status or TPS for Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Christy Gordon of Nicaragua told Local 10 News that she has been in the US less than a year, looking for a better future for her kids.

The politically unstable situation in Central America has forced many to flee.

According to customs and border protection, 134,000 Nicaraguans have been processed at the southern border, compared to 50,000 people the previous fiscal year.

It’s why advocate groups like the American Friends Service Committee of Florida, The Florida Immigrant Coalition, and The Miramar Circle of Florida are coming together.

According to a press release, The Miramar Circle of Protection is a group that focuses on the well-being of people who have to go to the Miramar Ice Facility for supervision.

The group aims to expose ICE and build community resistance against the criminalization and deportation of immigrants and refugees in South Florida.

After calling the immigration system “severely flawed and devastatingly broken,” members of the coalition fear of deportation or family separation.

“Women, men and children come to their appointments and are then told that they need to be on a list,” said Zamora. “This is a protection that will allow people to live their lives with dignity.” said Zamora

We’re also seeing a historical migrant surge from Nicaragua and Cuba.

As Local 10 reported on Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection shared this video of Cuban migrants using what they describe as a rustic vessel, to get to Islamorada.

Immigration attorney Willy Allen says it’s impossible for the immigration court system to keep up with the work load.

“It’s a broken system, it’s a collapsed system,” said Allen. “Frankly, instead of hiring so many IRS agents, I would have preferred that this administration hired more border patrol agents and more judges and prosecutors for the immigration system.”

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.