News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Oct. 22, 2020: Democratic vice-presidential candidate and US senator, Kamala Harris, has said Caribbean American voters in Florida can help bring home the win for the Democratic ticket.
Speaking to Caribbean American radio personality, Diana “Lady D” Taylor on Caribbean Affair Connection Radio in Orlando, Harris urged Caribbean-Americans in the state to vote early.
“People pay attention to who votes and that’s part of the power of the community- that when we vote, people pay attention and it becomes a substantial voting bloc,” Harris said.
Recognizing that immigration is a critical concern to Caribbean immigrants, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant father and an Indian immigrant mother, said she and Democratic Presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, will reinstate DACA for Dreamers, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put in place by President Barack Obama but ended by Donald Trump; and create a pathway towards citizenship.
“Donald Trump has been horrendous. Look at the policy which has been about putting babies in cages and separating children from their parents at the border. He also broke his promise to the DREAMers, some of whom come from Caribbean countries,” she said.
The Caribbean-American voting bloc, often dismissed, has now been recognized as the key to helping Democrats win in Florida and win the White House.
“When you look at the Caribbean-American community, it is vast and it is so intertwined and integrated into the fabric of America and so much a part of the historic leadership of America so we just want to make sure everyone votes. And Florida is so important because Floridians can determine the outcome of the election,” the VP hopeful Harris added.
Florida has more than 974,000 people of West Indian ancestry. That total includes more than 300,000 Jamaicans and more than 530,000 Haitians, according to census figures. A conservative estimate for the number of Jamaican voters in Florida stands at 91,000, because many may not report Jamaica as their country of origin. Haitian voters are estimated at about 115,000. Across the state, nearly four of every ten immigrant was born in the Caribbean and call areas like Broward County, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Palm Beach Gardens, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Port Saint Lucie, West Palm Beach, Deerfield Beach, Miami Beach, Kissimmee, Fort Myers, Boca Raton and Sarasota, home.
As the countdown begins to the November 3, 2020 general elections, a News Americas’ analysis of latest Department of Homeland Security data shows that over 1 million Caribbean immigrants became naturalized US citizens over a ten-year period – 2008-2018. The majority of those naturalized are from The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti.