Press Release

American Dream Awards honors Tampa Bay immigrants

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Tampa, September 21, 2018 | comments
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) awarded six local individuals with the “American Dream Award” last night in a public ceremony in Town ‘n Country. The awardees each were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments after immigrating to America and Tampa. They have excelled in the areas of business, innovation, law, education and health care, and have made remarkable contributions to our community.
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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) awarded six local individuals with the “American Dream Award” last night in a public ceremony in Town ‘n Country.  The awardees each were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments after immigrating to America and Tampa.  They have excelled in the areas of business, innovation, law, education and health care, and have made remarkable contributions to our community.

“America and Tampa’s strength is our diversity,” Said U.S. Rep. Castor.  “I was proud to honor several extraordinary immigrants who have made remarkable contributions to our community through hard work, perseverance and love for our country and our home town: Jun (John) Wu Zhao & Jiahua (Tommy) Tang, founders of Yummy House; Dr. Yogi Goswami, Director of the University of South Florida’s Clean Energy Research Center; Adriana Dinis, immigration lawyer; Christine Campbell, school social worker; and Monica Rodriguez, chair of the Latino Coalition of Tampa Bay.  They represent all walks of life – business, innovation, law, education and health care.”

U.S. Rep. Castor presented her American Dream Awards at a Town Hall to discuss current federal immigration policies as well as answer questions from the public on other current federal issues.

“I also want to thank Principal Frank Diaz from Webb Middle School for hosting my town hall and for sharing his story as a young immigrant from Cuba who came to the United States,” U.S. Rep. Castor continued.  “Principal Diaz has become an incredible educator, administrator and inspiration for his students, their families and my home town for his fulfillment of the American Dream as well.”

U.S. Rep. Castor joined with Mi Famila Vota – who also helped provide insight into the current woes of our nation’s immigration policies – and all present at the Town Hall to light candles and observe a moment of silence to honor the lives lost after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands a year ago.  She also reflected on how the Tampa Bay community has come together for the past year to assist our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters – fellow Americans – who relocated to our community in the wake of Hurricane Maria’s devastation.

“Although the current administration has spoken harshly against immigrants and refugees, Tampa Bay values our diversity – our history and economic successes are built on the contribution of immigrants,” U.S. Rep. Castor said.  “I am committed to continue promoting tolerance and acceptance – especially as our diverse Tampa Bay community begins celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month!”

One of the most important things U.S. Rep. Castor does as a member of Congress is help her neighbors who are experiencing issues with federal agencies, including immigration issues and more. She has also supported dozens of bills focused on fixing our country’s broken immigration system, including:

  • H.Res. 524, Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) Resolution – Recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrating the heritage and culture of Latinos in the United States and the immense contributions of Latinos to the United States.
  • H.R. 3440, The Dream Act – Allowing certain U.S.-raised immigrant youth, some who know no other home but America, to earn lawful permanent residence and American citizenship.
  • H.R. 6135, Keep Families Together Act – Keeping families together, limiting criminal prosecutions for asylum seekers and increasing child welfare training.
  • H.R. 6304, Reunifying Separated Families Act (introduced by U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, FL13) – Requiring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately reunify children separated from their families at the border following implementation of the Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy.
  • H.Res. 88, Extend Temporary Protected Status For Haitians – Extending Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals until Haiti has demonstrably recovered from a series of natural and manmade disasters.
  • H.Res. 774, Debating DACA resolutions – Requiring the U.S. House of Representatives to consider four bills under a “Queen of the Hill” rule to address Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
  • H.R. 858, DREAMers, Immigration, and Refugees (DIRe) Legal Act – Funding legal services to protect them from President Trump’s Executive Orders.

Find biographies of U.S. Rep. Castor’s American Dream Award recipients here.

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