Speeches and Statements

SPEECH: Rep. Murphy Speech as Prepared for Delivery, Opening of Puerto Rico Integrated Services Center

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Orlando, FLA, October 17, 2018 | comments
Hi, I’m Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, and I represent Florida’s 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. I’m so pleased to be here with federal officials, Florida officials, Puerto Rico officials, and members of the vibrant Puerto Rican community in central Florida as we celebrate the opening of the first-ever Puerto Rico Integrated Services Center on the U.S. mainland.

I want to thank the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, under the leadership of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, for inviting me to attend this ceremony. I also want to give a special shout out to Carlos and Ilia, as well as to my friends Congressman Soto, Mayor-elect Demings, and Representative Guillermo Smith.

The purpose of this Center is simple, and the need for it is significant. The Center will enable American citizens who were born in Puerto Rico and who have moved to Florida to acquire the Puerto Rico government-issued documents they may need in order to obtain the full range of employment, educational, housing, and health services here in Florida. No longer will Puerto Rican-born residents of the Sunshine State have to travel back to Puerto Rico, or to grant a family member or friend still living on the island the power of attorney, or take other time-consuming steps to get the documents they require. Instead, they will be able to visit this new Center and obtain what they need in a quick and efficient manner.

In short, this Center will help our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico make a more seamless transition to Florida, supporting them as they try to succeed in their new home, whether this home turns out to be permanent or temporary. Many families from la isla del encanto have endured tremendous hardship, and we should be trying to lighten their burden, not add to it. This Center promotes that worthy goal.

I look forward to being able to direct my Puerto Rico-born constituents to the Center, and I know that Congressman Soto and Congresswoman Val Demings do as well. Between the three of us, we represent about 400,000 individuals of Puerto Rican heritage, 60 percent of whom were born on the island. I personally feel great pride that central Florida is now home to the largest Puerto Rican population in the country, outside of Puerto Rico itself, and this new Center will be an incredible resource for them.

So thank you again for inviting me, and congratulations on the establishment of the Center. Qué Dios bendiga a los Estados Unidos y a Puerto Rico.

Thank you.

Click here for a PDF version of the speech.
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