Immigrant Youth Don’t Need Another Debate to Know that Ron DeSantis is Wrong for Florida

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Adam Luna | | 202-796-9372

*Tonight at 7PM ET @UnitedWeDream Action Will Be Live Tweeting*

Miami, Florida – Tonight, Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis will square off in their last gubernatorial debatebefore Election Day, but immigrant youth in Florida have already made up their mind about DeSantis: he’s just a junior version of Trump.

“My family and I have experienced first-hand the wrath of the deportation force when they stormed our home and threatened to tear our family apart.  DeSantis as governor would only make it worse. Even though I can’t vote, I live in a mixed status household and I will be making sure that my U.S. citizen family members and friends vote so that people like DeSantis and deportation agencies like ICE stop terrorizing us.” – Armando Carrada, immigrant youth from Florida.

“After eight years of Rick Scott as governor, undocumented immigrants in Florida were denied driver’s licenses and safety from deportation. Under DeSantis, it would be even worse. He’s just another Trump yes-man and he will abuse his authority to attack our families. Our community needs and deserves a leader who will stand with us and fight back against Trump.”- Camila Duarte, immigrant youth from Florida.

Here’s what DeSantis has said and done that prove why he is wrong for Florida:

Opposed DAPA and DACA+

DeSantis declared he would “do everything in my power to stop Barack Obama from unilaterally and unconstitutionally instituting a massive amnesty by executive fiat.”  [News-Journal, 10/22/14]

Accepted 2012 Endorsement from Racist, Anti-Immigrant Joe Arpaio

DeSantis said: “I am pleased to be endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Like Sheriff Joe, I believe that illegal immigration is a major problem that undermines the rule of law. We must enforce the laws we have on the books, secure our borders and deny special benefits to illegal immigrants such as in-state tuition rates.” [Florida Times-Union, 8/2/12]

Supports Anti-Choice and Anti-LGBTQ Groups

DeSantis confirmed his attendance at a forum organized by The Florida Family Policy Council that touts a number of anti-women,  positions, and has educational resources with articles titled, ‘The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death, ‘Homosexuality is not a Civil Right’ and ‘Gender Ideology Harms Children.’” [Tampa Bay Times, 4/5/18]

This week, DeSantis will be the keynote speaker at a the Christian Family Coalition annual gala on Oct. 26 sponsored by an anti-gay group that opposes same-sex marriage, lobbied against a local law banning gay-conversion therapy, and openly campaigns against transgender students.

Keynote Speaker at Anti-Muslim, Hate Group Event

DeSantis delivered a speech at an anti-Muslim extremist group-sponsored conference in October 2017 whose founder argues devout Muslims cannot be loyal Americans. The group has built a reputation for lobbying state legislators to ban Sharia law and has referred to Islam as ‘Islamofascism.’” [Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, 9/17/18]

You can catch our live online coverage of the debate here.


United We Dream Action is the leading national network fighting for dignity and justice led by immigrant youth and allies. We are a dynamic community of thousands of immigrant youth nationwide who build independent political power for those directly impacted by injustice. We organize and take action to win victories so that all people can be safe and thrive.