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Immigration Activist and Joe Garcia Criticized Carlos Curbelo for Playing Politics with Immigration Reform

Miami, FL- After years of opposing immigration reform that would help Florida families, today Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo floated the idea of introducing new DREAMER legislation in an attempt to win over Hispanic voters. Longtime South Florida immigration activist Maria Bilbao and former Congressman Joe Garcia spoke out against Curbelo’s empty political gesture.

“This is pure political opportunism by Curbelo,” said Maria Bilbao of United Families. “He is introducing legislation that he knows won't go anywhere in order to pander to Hispanics because of the ‘Trump Effect’ that is threatening his seat. Where was Curbelo when we needed his support for DACA/DAPA, a relief for over 5 million hard working immigrants in this country? I have a good memory and I remember in a debate with Joe Garcia in Miami Dade College, Curbelo said he opposed these executive actions. Our community remembers and we know Curbelo does not really stand with us.”

“It is one thing to fight for the immigrant community, but it’s another thing to take advantage of their hopes to score political points,” said Joe Garcia, Candidate for Florida’s 26th Congressional District. “Carlos Curbelo wants to introduce a bill that stands no chance of passing precisely because of the Republican leadership that he wholeheartedly backs.”

When President Obama signed his executive action on immigration, Curbelo went on the air to support legal action against the move that protected millions of families from separation. In the same interview, he flatly said he did "not support amnesty," and called for the deportation of children and teenagers detained during the 2014 border crisis. In Congress, he has opposed the President’s use of immigration executive actions. He has also been a die-hard supporter of House Speaker Paul Ryan, even going as far as saying he is “always all-in for Paul Ryan.” The same Paul Ryan who pledged to take no action on immigration reform. Curbelo even endorsed presidential candidates who pledged to repeal DAPA and cancel DACA on day one of their presidencies.

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