As the United States presidential election in November looms, immigration reform has become one of the most popular issues for Presidential hopefuls. A New Jersey mayor is adding to the conversation on immigration by heightening his efforts to help make it easier for Cuban refugees to access the U.S.
The mayor of West New York, New Jersey, Felix Roque, has made it his mission to assist Cuban refugees in their attempt to flee Cuba and come to the U.S. In January of last year, the New Jersey mayor and Cuban-born pain relief doctor held a press conference at his medical office to announce his support for Cuban refugees who want to come to the U.S. According to Roque, his plan to bypass the local government immigration laws would save the government money and be safer. Several Cuban immigrants joined the mayor at the press conference. At the conference, they had the opportunity to speak out about their negative experiences and oppression at the hands of the Cuban government. The immigrants were all professionals that had come to the United States with the mayor’s guidance.
Mayor Roque claims that he is helping “thousands” of Cuban refugees come to the United States. With the help of a Costa Rican travel agent, the mayor put $200,000 of his own money towards supporting the refugees with travel expenses. He also created a Spanish-language website and GoFundMe page, which has raised about $1,300. Moreover, Roque traveled to Costa Rica during the last week of 2015 to provide medical treatment to almost 4,000 refugees who had fled to the country. The refugees were living in an open field directly next to the Cuban/Costa Rican border and their passports had all been confiscated. After the mayor returned, he sent food and medication to those in need and has reported his actions had saved lives.
Mayor Roque, who was re-elected in May of last year in his heavily Latino town, is facing harsh criticism from all sides. Government officials in both the United States and Costa Rica, including international refugee leaders, have voiced their dissatisfaction with the mayor’s behavior. The mayor’s spokeswoman told the media that the mayor’s actions on immigration are and were as a private citizen, not as the mayor of West New York.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC Represent Individuals Facing Immigration Challenges and Pressures from the Government
If you, a loved one or someone you know, is facing difficult immigration issues such as the threat of deportation or the denial of citizenship, contact our team of seasoned Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC. We understand the challenges that immigrants face and will help you every step of the way so that you can feel at home in the United States. Call us now at 215-925-4435 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.