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Elizabeth Ricci: Congress should recognize the positive impact of immigrants in our communities

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Florida has a rich immigrant history. Immigration is responsible for an estimated 30 % of our state’s annual growth, as we have long been a destination for immigrants from all over the world to build their own American Dream. Today, immigrants make up about 20 % of our state’s population, and 394,000 of the immigrants currently living in Florida have started their own businesses, bringing in an estimated $8.1 billion to the economy. These hard workers are building better lives for themselves while also creating jobs for other people, which is something that cannot be overlooked following the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also contributing to our communities and economic growth, as immigrants in Florida have an estimated total spending power of over $100 billion.

Julio Fuentes: Access delayed was access denied to the poorest, most isolated Americans.

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Remember when millions of students in dense urban areas and less-populated rural areas weren’t dependent on home broadband access so they could attend school? Remember when we didn’t need telehealth appointments, and broadband access in urban and outlying areas was an issue that could be dealt with another day? Remember when the capability to work remotely in underserved communities wasn’t the difference between keeping a job and losing it?

Not anymore.