“The moment that we place people above politics we will be able to achieve more of our goals as a nation.”
– Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera
For over 40 years Bettina has served the people of South Florida as a community advocate, business owner, and elected official with a record of developing solutions to our region’s most pressing issues. Bettina is focused on putting people above politics, providing results instead of partisan bickering, and doing what she has done her entire career, rolling up her sleeves and getting things done.
• National Security and Public Safety
Maintaining our country’s safety should be our first priority. Since September 11, the world has changed and so has the threats. America is the leader of the free world and we are privileged to be able to have a nation where we can celebrate our freedoms. But freedom is not free. While traveling and working abroad I have been able to see and hear firsthand how people from other nationalities look up to us in the USA. As a daughter of a Cuban political prisoner I grew up knowing the importance of our liberties and vow to stand up to any foreign or domestic threat. Without the stability and safety of our nation’s civil society, our economy, our education and our opportunities to succeed will never be the same.
I will defend and support our constitution, our military, our police and first responders. I will work to deliver top notch training, technology, equipment and all the resources that are needed to defend our nation both at home and abroad. I will vote to defend our national security, including funding a border wall, whether the wall consist of a combination of technology, concrete or natural habitat. History has shown that countries have walls to protect their borders.
• Crime and Gun Control
I vow to work diligently with all parties to immediately address gun and crime control and focus on making our schools and our country safer. We can do this and still respect the Second Amendment, and not chip away at our constitutional right to bear arms.
As a mother and grandmother, my thoughts are with the victims, survivors, parents and all those impacted by the senseless violence at Parkland, Sandy Hook, Aurora and all the horrific acts our country has been witnessing in the last 20 years. We all want our children to be safe. We must stand together to put people above politics to protect our children with common sense gun control that also respects our first and second amendment rights. This is a complex issue and we must address the root cause of gun violence, including mental health and crime control.
Criminals do not follow gun control and are the first one’s that would welcome the disarmament of our country. Fidel Castro infamously said “Armas para Que?” ( Why do you need fire arms?) Hugo Chaves, also disarmed Venezuelans. We all know what happened next.
I plan to immediately address crime and gun control by supporting:
· Mental health programs to address children in schools and adults.
· School programs that address incidents of conduct and special needs.
· The elimination of the “ Promise Program” that does not report incidents like that of student shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to the central registry .
· Institute the “No Fly No Gun “policy, if you are in the no fly list you should not be able to buy a gun
· Add domestic violence, date rape, and cross state registration to the national registry.
· Eliminate private sale of guns with no background check, straw sales and internet sales.
· Have a minimum of three day waiting period and restrict gun purchases to 21 years old for rapid fire arms except for those individuals registered in the military.
· Ban bump stocks.
• Drug Opioid Epidemic
Over the last few years the opioid epidemic has grappled America, and has hit us hard at home. South Florida, and specifically the 27th congressional district, has seen a 100% increase in deaths by opioid overdose. These opioid drugs, be it from prescriptions or illegal drugs pushed by drug cartels, are destroying lives and communities.
As your next Congresswoman I will work hard to address this issue, make sure we are helping users get needed care, keep people accountable and be an advocate for the silent victims, children and families left to cope with a loved one’s drug addiction.
I would require that doctors adhere to “best practices” when prescribing opioids so they that suffer from constant pain. Lastly I would encourage doctors and health care professionals to be properly trained on pain management, prescribe non addictive drugs if possible and refer patients to alternative methods of physical therapy, yoga, acupuncture and only prescribe addictive opioids when all else has failed. Lastly I would work with USPS (United States Postal Service) and private delivery services to provide additional safeguards to prevent drugs to be shipped by mail.
Veterans and members of the Armed Forces of the United States are real-life heroes, who have put service over self, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedom and security. Our military not only deserves our respect and gratitude, but the very best education, healthcare, quality jobs, and support services our country has to offer. I am very proud of the members of my family that have been part of the Armed Forces and I honor them, and the millions of American military officials and their families, for their service.
As your next congresswoman I will advocate for improved services for all veterans and members of the Armed Forces of the United States. While recent efforts have been made to elevate the level of care for our veterans, more must be done including improving healthcare options, addressing long wait times and increasing flexibility to meet individual needs, including allowing veterans to visit outside doctors, similar to a PPO healthcare plan. I would increase veteran support services and make them more accessible, such as online mandatory counseling. I will expand veteran training programs and increase workforce housing to veteran families. I plan to propose an increase to a full four years for the GI bill including the post 911 GI bill. In addition, I would expand the veteran cemetery and its services so all veterans will always have a place of honor as their last resting place.
• International Alliances
In order to ensure a strong and stable American future, our nation must foster strong international alliances and partners. These transnational coalitions are vital to our country’s economy, national security and to help promote good policy for all those involved.
As your congresswoman I will defend our free market principles and promote fair trade policies that empower American workers. I will strengthen ties with America’s international partners by finding common ground aimed at maintaining peace, reducing the threat of war and eliminating the risk of nuclear weapons. I will stand with our country’s most trusted allies, like Israel, and defend its right to exist. Working with our colleagues domestically and around the world, we will fight against demagogyand the cruelty of dictatorships. I will strive to foster unity among both parties in our government and vow to always place people above politics in supporting America’s democratic principles.
• Immigration Reform
Congress must act and pass real immigration reform. The United State of America is a nation of immigrants and also a nation of laws. During my two terms as the Florida state director of League of United Latin American Citizen (LULAC), I worked in a bipartisan manner to advocate for smart reforms that respected our rule of law but also recognized the positive impacts immigration has on our country.
I have a proven track record of working across the political aisle to push for common sense reforms, and I will continue to do so as your next congresswoman.
For too long both political parties have used immigration as a wedge issue, gambling with the lives of immigrants and praying on the hopes of millions seeking opportunity in the United States of America. Our current immigration system is broken, slow, inefficient and does not address the needs of the United States. We need immigration reform that respects all individuals, supports those who have followed the rules for legal entry and prioritizes the needs of America first by securing immigration pathways that protect American security, strengthens our boarders and economic interests.
We must reform our immigration system to ensure that it doesn’t take any individual over 10 – 20 years to immigrate legally to our country. We need to review the visa lottery system and move towards a program that focuses on an individual’s merits and skills. America should do away with legal loopholes that allow people to manipulate the system to problematically obtain entry into the U.S.A. We must also develop an expedited process for asylum cases and never unnecessarily criminalize these individuals. No immigration case should take more than 18 months for review.
I stand with Dreamers and their desire to continue to build lives in the only country they call home. For immigrants currently living here without legal status, I believe in a pathway to citizenship for those who qualify, in addition to paying back taxes and maintaining a job. To secure opportunities for the millions of good and hardworking immigrants, we need to ensure that undocumented violent criminals and felons are quickly deported and never allowed re-entry.
In addition, I have several proposal to reform immigration
– Negotiate with countries to allow the port of entry asylum cases to be heard in those countries and increase the hearing officers in the country of application.
– Separate the asylum cases giving added priority to family with children and expedite them not to take over 20 days, giving asylum to those that qualify and swiftly deporting those that do not.
– Increase the hearing officers to expedite the over 600,000 backlog cases.
– Add border agents to reduce legal border crossings
– Secure our borders
– Work with churches, nonprofit organizations and the government to develop temporary shelters for families seeking asylum and designate host families who are responsible for the appearance of the family requesting a status change. At this time this program does not have foster care assistance.
– The United States government should work closely with countries with high levels of US migration, nations like Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and develop ways to create solutions to the immigration crisis.
– Increase the migrant temporary worker program and create a guest worker program.
• Bestselling co-author with Jack Canfield, The Big Secret/ Giving Yourself Permission-5 Steps to Make it Happen.
• Has authored ten business and leadership courses
• Authored curriculum for the first Leadership certificate course in Spanish for the University of Miami, Koubeck Center.
• Authored curriculum for the Miami Dade College, Women Empowering Leadership certified certificate course.
• Authored and created the 35 page Doral Business Census and five other workbooks for economic development.