Immigrants in Florida worried state may not be welcoming place

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:40 PM EDT
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Some immigrants in Palm Beach County are disappointed that the Sunshine State may not be a place for migrants searching for a better life, saying they left one hostile place to be met with more tension here in the states.

This comes after Gov.Ron Desantis suggested “more and more” migrants will be relocated away from Florida.

"We don't want handouts, we want to work," Karym Salcido, a Venezuelan American, said.

Salcido shared the pain of Venezuelans as they leave their country in hopes of a better life.

"The first time that I saw a Venezuelan crossing the river, I cried," Salcido said. "I cried so much because I never in my life thought that we (would) be in this terrible situation."

Salcido said Venezuelans seeking sanctuary in the United States isn't an easy decision and feels her people are being treated like political pawns.

“People are running away from Venezuela because they are scared,” Salcido said. “They are scared of these human rights situations.”

For organizations like the Guatemalan Maya Center, the move by DeSantis is painting the wrong picture of Florida.

"We now are also sending the message that here in Florida we're not accepting migrants," Mariana Blanco, the assistant executive director with the Guatemalan Maya Center, said. "They have to be shipped elsewhere and get resources elsewhere in order to be welcome."

They are debating whether to take legal action against the governor.

"Asylum is the right that everybody has and so the stance of the center is to answer to the needs of the people and not to ship them elsewhere," Blanco said.

DeSantis said the migrants voluntarily signed release forms and received information about Martha's Vineyard.

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