21% of residents of Florida are foreign-born, up from 13% in 1990. The source of the largest number of immigrants is Cuba (about 5% of the state’s population). The Caribbean and Latin America account for 75% of all immigrants.
The Florida Compact on Immigration is a set of principles to guide the immigration discussion at the state and federal level signed by more than 70 Florida business, industry, and civic leaders committed to reforms that strengthen Florida’s economy and attract the talent and business to fill critical workforce shortages and accelerate the state’s growth. The Florida Compact on Immigration supports federal immigration reforms, as well as statewide policies that recognize the valuable contributions immigrants make to Florida as workers, business owners, taxpayers, and consumers.
Here are excerpts of the compact, released on March 14:
Florida needs a robust workforce and policies that prioritize attracting and retaining international talent. Our immigration system must be flexible enough to address the needs of businesses while protecting the interests of workers. This includes a visa system that is both responsive and effective at meeting the demands of our economy. And it should acknowledge the critical role immigrants play in Florida’s economy as workers, taxpayers, and consumers.
Common sense approach: Our immigration policies should provide a sensible path forward for immigrants who are here without legal status, are of good character, pay taxes, and are committed to becoming fully participating members of our society and culture — in particular, Florida Dreamers and TPS holders.
Effective enforcement: A broader reform effort ultimately needs to include ways that accurately, reliably, and affordably determine who is permitted to work— and ensure an adequate workforce for a growing economy.
Families: Our immigration policies should prioritize keeping close families together so as to ensure the most supportive home environments for all children.
Competitive communities: Local policies should nurture an environment that helps all residents to have the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.