As an immigration attorney, I learned about the plight of immigrants as they struggled to build a life in a new country. I will fight for undocumented workers who risk being deported while injured on the job, and I support the expansion of sanctuary cities and counties that limit federal intrusion on our neighbors’ civil rights. Florida saw a 76 percent increase in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests last year, the highest in the nation. Our time and energy should be focused on keeping families together and helping them establish citizenship, not instilling fear and division.
I’ll also fight for an end to discrimination against our LGBTQIA+ neighbors, who can still be fired and denied housing merely for existing in Seminole County and beyond. I do not believe religious freedom should be used as an excuse to refuse service to any individual. I am also vehemently opposed to conversion therapy that only harms and confuses young gay and lesbian people.
As a former veterans’ association social worker, I know that our heroes deserve more. With the third largest veteran population in the nation, Florida owes it to those who served to ensure ample community support is available. No one who has defended our country and its freedoms should find themselves homeless, out of work, or waiting months on end for medical or mental health treatment. Nearly half of Florida’s 1.5 million-plus veterans are now seniors, making them even more vulnerable. I will push for increased services to address veteran suicide and substance abuse.