A pro-immigration reform created by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and media mogul Rupert Murdoch is rallying Florida support for Republican legislation to grant citizenship to young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
New American Economy won endorsements for the "Succeed Act" from state Sen. René García of Hialeah and several business groups, including the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The legislation, billed as a conservative Dream Act, was introduced in Congress last week by U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. It is a companion to a House bill dubbed the "Recognize America's Children Act" filed earlier this year Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo. They are intended to help beneficiaries of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, that protected them from deportation and is being phased out by the Trump administration.
"Dreamers represent the best and brightest of the American dream," García said in a statement. "I'm encouraged to see Congress recognize the need to address the future of DACA recipients this year, and I hope to work together with Congressman Curbelo and the Florida Congressional delegation to produce a meaningful economic solution."
Also supporting the Succeed and RAC acts were Julio Fuentes, president and chief executive of the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Carlos Carrillo, executive director of Associated General Contractors of South Florida; Ed Moore, president of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida; and Peter A. Wish, commissioner of the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority.
Coral Gables healthcare magnate Mike Fernandez, whose own fund offers legal aid to immigrants facing deportation, also signed on later Monday.
"Congress has a dynamic opportunity in front of them to reverse the uncertainty following the decision to end DACA, and create a movement that truly celebrates the spirit of immigrants to move our economic potential forward," he said in a statement.
New American Economy estimates more than 46,000 Floridians are eligible for DACA.
This post has been updated.