Lawmakers File Bill to Help 222 Nicaraguan Political Prisoners

Lawmakers File Bill to Help 222 Nicaraguan Political Prisoners

“Miami is a refugee for freedom fights from across Latin America.

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
June 26, 2023

Over the weekend, a bipartisan group of lawmakers joined forces to address a concern in Nicaragua. In introducing the Nicaragua Political Prisoner Support Act, the lawmakers seek to grant 222 political prisoners refugee assistance.

Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R), the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Chairwoman, joined Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro (D), the Ranking Member, and Florida Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Mario Diaz-Balart (R), and Carlos Gimenez (R), in introducing the bill.

The 222 political prisoners that the bill would help were expelled by the Nicaraguan Ortega-Murillo regime last February, and the legislation seeks to provide critical support services that the United States government offers to refugees.

Castro, in a statement, argued that the 222 political prisoners “deserve the full support of our government as they and their families begin their new lives in the United States.” He further expressed that “these civic leaders and dissidents are refugees in all but name, and they should have access to the same resources as others who flee from violence and oppression.”

Salazar echoed in his remarks, adding that “Miami is a refugee for freedom fights from across Latin America and this bill makes sure these 222 political prisoners who were tortured and persecuted by Ortega are able to receive all of the critical services offered by the U.S. government to refugees so they can start a new life in the free world.”

In February of this year, the Ortega-Murillo regime expelled the political prisoners, which is a group composed of opposition presidential candidates, civic leaders, and student activists. In its explanation of the expulsions, the regime called it “deportations,” and the reasoning behind the expulsions were “false charges of treason for denouncing the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Nicaraguan government” according to a press release from Salazar’s office.

The full text of the bill can be read here.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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