Tallahassee, FL — On Thursday, Jan. 26, Florida House Democrats walked out of a hearing on refugees in protest of a presentation led by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which has been called a hate group and described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an organization “spreading anti-immigrant ideas.” Monica Russo, SEIU Florida president and executive vice president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers, has released the following statement in support of the walk-out:
“The members of SEIU Florida salute the following state representatives who protested the hate group insidiously named Center for Immigration Studies. We applaud the leadership of Clovis Watson, Barrington Russell, Emily Slosberg, Matt Willhite and Patricia Hawkins-Williams and other House Democrats in their protest against racism, hatred and bigotry
“Inviting the leader of a group founded by a racist who launched the modern anti-immigrant movement and advocates for a white majority culture to the detriment of people of color is a slap in the face to Florida’s hard-working families, whether immigrants or not. There must be basic standards for humanity and mutual respect in our political process. No person or organization advocating for racism and bigotry deserves a seat at the table. Period.”
SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees and property service workers in the state of Florida. SEIU members provide vital public services in Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities. With over 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.