Dear Mayor Buckhorn,
On behalf of over 2,000 graduate employees at the University of South Florida, we are asking you to state your commitment to the undocumented members of our community by declaring Tampa a sanctuary city.
Tampa’s immigrant community—documented or otherwise—faces an unwelcoming, draconian environment under the Trump Administration. The president’s continued obsession with building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border only guarantees that lives will be lost, and taxpayer dollars will be wasted, on a measure many experts have stressed is guaranteed to fail. When coupled with last Friday’s executive against Muslim immigrants from several Middle Eastern countries, immigrants of all categories now find themselves facing a government that unfairly treats them as distrustful and dangerous. This is particularly true for undocumented immigrants—many who came to this country as children who have since contributed greatly to their communities.
Whether you like it or not, Mayor Buckhorn, Tampa is fueled by undocumented labor—provided by people who provide services that keep our city running. Allowing them to be at the mercy of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies not only will wreck many lives, but also allow an entryway for the federal government to go after other immigrant, resident alien, and marginalized communities. Scapegoating undocumented residents won’t solve the issues our city faces: it only provides a convenient diversion from our core concerns.
That’s why we’re asking you to make a clear commitment to the safety and well being of all our residents—undocumented, documented, or natural-born—by declaring Tampa a sanctuary city. We’re asking you to join the dozens of cities and counties across the United States that provide safe harbor for undocumented residents. We’re also asking you not to cave in to the Trump Administration’s threat that sanctuary cities will lose federal funding—and, instead, show that a city can function in our new climate without cowering to the politics of fear.
Together, all of Tampa’s residents can work toward making our city even better in the years to follow—but only if all of our community is welcome to stay.
USF Graduate Assistants United
Neal Fischer, President
Suzanne Young, Grievance Chair
Ann Vitous, Communication Chair
Constanza de Dios, Secretary
Jacob Abraham, Bargaining Chair
Jon Hendricks, Organizing Chair
Erin Sauer, Treasurer
Marcy Cockrell, USF St Pete Representative
Bryan Delius, Senator
Megan Flocken, Senator