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Benacquisto and Palm Beach County immigrant women shed tears over domestic violence

by Dara Kam | April 26th, 2011

Dozens of immigrants from Palm Beach County, accompanied by their children and grandchildren, got on a bus in Lake Worth at 11 p.m. to travel to the Capitol as part of a week-long effort by hundreds of immigrants now swarming the Capitol.

The immigrants, their children and advocates are pleading with lawmakers to abandon an Arizona-like immigration reform now under consideration in both the House and Senate.

More than a dozen women and children met with Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Wellington, for nearly 30 minutes. Both the women and the senator emerged in tears.

Leonila, an undocumented restaurant worker from Mexico who lives in West Palm Beach, shared her story with Benacquisto. The mother of five, who would not give her last name, told the senator that she was a domestic violence victim who fears that women like her will be even more afraid to get help after they are sexually or physically abused.

“One doesn’t have to think too hard about how that would affect me,” said Benacquisto, who during her campaign last year disclosed that she was raped at the age of 19.

Benacquisto pledged to work with the sponsors of the bill (SB 2040) to include provisions for women who are domestic violence or sexual abuse victims.

“Any victim who needs to ask for assistance at that time needs to have the confidence they can go to someplace safe,” Benacquisto said.

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21 Responses to “Benacquisto and Palm Beach County immigrant women shed tears over domestic violence”

  1. half pint Says:

    These criminal immigrants need to apply for citizenship or go back to whence they came. They are draining our financial resources that were intended for legal american citizens. They want the rights and freedoms that the USA has but are unwilling to begin the process of citizenship. They have NO rights of a US citizen until they become one.

  2. IMoreno Says:

    Half pint, the immigration process is not that simple. If that was the case then we would have no issues!

  3. Ashamed Says:

    Those criminal immigrants are only looking for a better way of life when their own governments lets poverty and famine run rampant. Those criminal immigrants can’t stay in the country legally because your burocratic government hasn’t set up a legal way to do so. Those criminals can only apply for citizenship after they have worked in the US for a number of years, paid taxes and jump through a number of hoops. Those criminals are men and women, hard working people, that contrary to ignorant comments don’t just sit around and collect benefits. Those criminals give this country diversity, those criminals built this country, those criminals, are reading this article right now and weeping that so little humanity is left in this world.

  4. Buddy Says:

    Take a good look around us people– crime is up, paychecks are down, work is hard to find, etc.. Send them all back to where ever they came from and lets deal with our own ….We can’t even afford to feed the poor in our own back yards and you want us to help non-citizens ??? GIVE ME A BREAK- OR BETTER YET GIVE ME THE MONEY THEY GET FOR FOOD STAMPS, MEDICAL CARE, ETC… WHILE I’M WORKING MY A—- OFF ..

  5. IMoreno Says:

    Quoted: Those criminals can only apply for citizenship after they have worked in the US for a number of years, paid taxes and jump through a number of hoops.

    Again, that is not even the case. In order to apply to become a resident, if you have entered illegally, you have to ask for a waiver. First you must have someone sponsor you here in the U.S (only a spouse and/or parent for a minor) Then they have to return to their country and ask for the waiver to be reviewed there. They can expect to wait up to 18 months before a decision is made.If you’re denied then you have a 10 year ban or you can reapply (lots of $$$). This is a very long, expensive, and complicated process!

  6. Buddy Says:

    AGAIN, SEND THEM ALL BACK !!!!

  7. Educator Says:

    At the top of the list is the businesses that hire these illegals. Willing to work all day long for next to nothing (unreported cash with no taxes), employers grab as many as they can. How many illegals would stay if no one hired them? The best immigration program would be fining and jailing “illegal” employers.

  8. strategic defaulter Says:

    I agree with Educator. It all starts with GREED. Dishonest employers could care less about these labor slaves. They do it to remain competitive with other businesses who do the same thing. As long as you make it lucrative to come here, they will continue to sneak in. And remember, they come here with nothing.

    The same is true for the housing crisis – GREED.

  9. Rabid Tea Partier Says:

    Yes throw those dirty brown skinned people out of the country. They took our jobs! No matter they work harder than us rednecks and they are willing to work longer hours without crying in order to feed their families.
    And of course I am hiding my racist beliefs by claiming its all about the money, while I ignore the fact that white people are the biggest beneficiaries of government aid in re country.
    Sure hope they pass that anti immigrant bill so we can get back to framing them different colored people like we did in the good ole days.
    Yehaa!

  10. Crabby Jackie Says:

    Illegal immigrants are NOT a race! Time to put an end to this foolishness.

  11. David D. Says:

    I, and dare I say most people are not willing to ‘hate’ them as the ‘Leave a Reply’ introduction asserts. Palm Beach Post, stop planting your nonsense in people’s minds.

    The key word in all of this is ‘illegal.’ I do have empathy for their plight, but that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to stay and drain our already strained resources at every level. And it galls me that we have to assimilate to them as they attempt to turn America into Mexico.

    Give them a sandwich on the bus, but send illegals back home. And build a wall to keep them out. And let’s not forget that our enemies, (OTM’s) are also pouring over the same border. Wake up.

  12. Unreal Says:

    @David D. Just curious how much money is spent each year of federal and florida state money on illegals?

  13. Not buying all of it Says:

    Abuse and domestic violence happen in all societies and all countries. I have donated and supported shelters and causes for domestic abuse in the past, but I don’t get the connection with illegal immigration reform. Does the Senator understand the ‘legal’ people want reform and we might not feel as compassionate as we would since some of the ‘legal’ people need her job and have families to feed and may also be dealing with domestic abuse.

  14. Uncle Sam Says:

    Cry baby Benacquisto should take a trip to Mexico Illegally. She will get abused in all sorts of Interesting ways and no one will cry for her sorry ass. Enforce the law or leave with your Illegal’s. Oh by the way all you sorry ass cry babies for every dollar Illegal’s put into the system they take out three. Enforce the law or leave with the Illegal’s. Bye Bye Now.

  15. Unreal Says:

    @David D.
    Since you didn’t answer here it is.

    $290 Million for unreimbursed illegal healthcare.
    $90 Million for incarcerating illegals.
    $3.4 Billion on educating children of illegals. (90% of these number are American born children, which makes them legal citizens. So put the illegal portion at $340 million)
    That is less than $1 billion that actual illegals cost Florida.

    And Florida has the 4th highest number of illegals in the country. $1 billion out of a $70 billion budget is about 1.5%. Do you really think it is as big a problem as you think?
    They also spend money in stores, pay utilities, buy gasoline, vehicles, and contribute to society. Whats the issue?

    Secondly 50% of illegals are being paid legally and contribute their share of SSI, Med and Fed tax that they will never be able to collect.

    A conservative national study says illegals cost us $100 billion a year (FAIR). Again that is only 2.5% of our national budget. Amazing isn’t it? And those amounts do not take into account any contribution by illegals to the economy or to federal revenue.

    In contrast, America is borrowing almost $9 billion a day. So the illegal problem is equal to about 11-12 days of a 365 day year.

    I think that we have bigger problems.

  16. Jimbo Says:

    I wonder how many people have ever actually hired immigrant workers before.
    Hire an American at 10-12$ an hour they are horrible workers usually. They work slow and take lots of breaks.
    Hire an immigrant at the exact same rate, they work work their tale off in hopes you will hire them again.
    Immigrants realize that their job is not an entitlement, and that is part of what is wrong with America. It is hard to find quality workers who will actually work and want to do a good job at a prevailing wage.
    Some of you should ask yourselves if you are as committed to taking care of your family as most immigrants. Probably not.

  17. rootn-tootn Says:

    I love the BIZPAC approach if Illegal’s leave our tourist industries will die and no one will pick anything. Collection of stupid jerks they are. Maybe a young American would love to have that job since less than five percent of Illegal’s do farm work.

  18. David D. Says:

    Thank you unreal. I don’t live on here, so I don’t do a lot of back and forth. I don’t have the time or desire to check your figures, although they do seem very low, and they don’t factor in the costs of the deterioration of our societal fabric. Nor the cost of housing all of the illegals in our prison system.

    However, my issue with illegals for starters is they’re illegal, as in they broke the law of the land. The idea that their children who are born here are immediately citizens is and always has been outrageously laughable. No other country in the world has such a ridiculous law, and it needs to be done away with. Try breaking into Mexico and see how long you last, let alone your newborns. I hear their prisons are akin to Club Med; NOT.

    Then there is the crime, and a whole host of other conditions which makes the situation intolerable. And while many people don’t want to seriously look at the issue of OTM’s, it is very real problem, and our border is a wide open door to those that would do us harm.

    No one will ever convince me that returning illegals to their homes and building a 25 ft. wall to keep them out wouldn’t be a lot less expensive. As I’ve said many times before over the years, and again now; starting in May, thousands of school buses all around the country will be sitting idle. Why not fill them up with illegals and return them, while building said wall?

  19. Unreal Says:

    @David D.

    All of those figures are from FAIR studies a conservative group who did the research.
    You stated the cost to the prison system.
    In Florida it is $90 million a year. Quite a lot of money, but still a fraction of the $2.4 billion budget. 3.75%.
    The real issue with illegal immigration is unfounded anger in a difficult economic time.
    We have much bigger more significant problems, and unfortunately most people who are angry about the illegal situation typically recite false facts, or have no real knowledge about what the economic impact truly is.
    Those very same people also probably do not know very many immigrants and have not had opportunity to deal with them ever in life. The large majority are not criminals but good, family people escaping a violent and corrupt system.
    Kind of like many of the immigrants who came to America all throughout our history.
    The citizenship of children born in America may not be a law you like, but it is the law of the land.
    There are other piece of legislation that are much more harmful economically to society that deserve more attention.

  20. Denora Says:

    WE CAN’T TAKE ON THE WHOLE WORLD’S PROBLEMS.

  21. magyart Says:

    Help fight illegal immigration and visit the NumbersUSA and ALPAC web sites. We need federal E-verify legislation.

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