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Curbelo and Grayson Introduce the Venezuelan Refugee Assistance Act

Posted: November 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Rep. Carlos Curbelo

Two Florida members of Congress introduced a bill that would allow Venezuelans who arrived in the U.S. prior to Jan 1, 2013, to adjust status to permanent resident. No word on how likely this is to move forward.

Washington, D.C.—In response to the continued instability in Venezuela, Reps. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) and Alan Grayson (FL-09), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) have introduced the Venezuelan Refugee Assistance Act, H.R. 3744, to provide immigration relief to Venezuelans that have long-resided in the U.S., unable to return to their homeland:

“For the past decade, thousands of Venezuelans were forced to flee the brutal Chavez dictatorship. The situation has not improved under his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro. In the last few months alone we have seen countless examples of the regime’s thuggish tactics, unethical behavior, and lethal force. They’ve arrested top opposition leaders like Leopoldo Lopez and the Mayor or Caracas, and banned others from running for public office, like Maria Machado. They’ve also arrested over 3,000 opposition protestors in a riot that left dozens dead. This bill will help those Venezuelan nationals who have made a new home in the United States to remain here if they choose to since it is dangerous to return home.

Specifically, this legislation would address the issue by adjusting the status of Venezuelans that arrived in the U.S. prior to Jan 1, 2013 as long as they do not have a criminal record and were never involved in the persecution of others. They have until January 1, 2019 to register for adjustment.

I applaud the Venezuelan-American community in the United States for their continued efforts on behalf of the people of Venezuela and I stand in unity for their noble cause of justice and freedom and thank Rep. Grayson for his leadership throughout the years to help the Venezuelan people. I would also like to thank Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Wasserman Schultz for being original co-sponsors,” said Rep. Curbelo.

“I’m proud to join my Florida colleague Rep. Carlos Curbelo in introducing this important piece of bipartisan legislation. The political turmoil in Venezuela demands that the United States do everything in its power to protect those who have been able to escape to freedom in America. We cannot in good conscience force Venezuelans to return to a country where they face arrest, torture, and execution only because they oppose the government. Granting them permanent residence status is the best, most logical way to ensure their safety. I thank Rep. Curbelo for all he has done for the Venezuelan American community, and look forward to working with him to see this legislation out of committee and onto the floor for a vote,” said Rep. Grayson.

Rep. Curbelo will be holding a press conference regarding H.R. 3744 on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 in his Miami district office.


Sarasota Immigrant Gives Italian Tours the Italian Way

Posted: August 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


A Photo of Venice from

Giorgio Orofino’s family has been in the hospitality business for 2 generations.

The first question on the Orofino’s FAQ page is “Can I see all of Italy in 7 days?” Their answer, “No.” This is a tour company that gives visitors the time they need to really get underneath all the layers of history, culture and cuisine that Italy offers. Visitors stay at one of the Orofino family-owned hotels – one of the reasons their prices are so reasonable – and motor around the countryside by day with time in the afternoon to get to know their location. The Orofino family motto: “Stay and Visit.”

Giorgio Orofino first came to Sarasota  in 1992. It was “love at first sight” when he saw Siesta Key Beach.  Every American he talked to expressed a love for Italy and Mr. Orofino saw a business opportunity. At that point his family owned two hotels in Ischia, Italy so he decided to set up a tourism company specializing in treating North Americans to an Italian-style vacation. He wanted to provide low-cost special tours, “no packing – no unpacking,” as he says.   He founded the main company in Italy in 1994 and founded Stay and Visit Inc. in Florida in 1996.  The two companies worked in tandem to plan tours for Americans all over Italy.  The American company advertised in national media, including “The New York Times” to attract customers  and worked with travel agents around the country.

As the business grew, Mr. Orofino concluded that he needed a more permanent presence in the U.S. He already had a B-2 and E-2 Visa but he needed something more permanent. At this point he decided to apply directly for the international manager green card.  He continued to live and work in Italy until the Green Card was issued, which took about 3 years. Then, he and his family moved to Sarasota.

Today Giorgio and his family live happily in Sarasota and Stay and Visit Inc. is still operating with great success. Today the Orofino family owns one of the largest hotel chains in Italy and every year they enable more and more North Americans to enjoy the country. Giorgio reports: “We have many Americans and Canadians traveling from North America to Italy with us. We are proud to say that we have the best rates in the world for Italy tours and hotels.”  To learn more about Giorgio and his business, visit Stay and Visit’s website and sign up for their e-newsletter by entering your email in the field on the right.