07/08/14 - Tuesday’s Topical Currents looks at the issue of U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security's ever-widening reach into the lives of American citizens and legal immigrants as well as the undocumented. We visit with investigative journalist Todd Miller. He’s spent the last fifteen years researching, writing about and working on immigration and border issues.
Some conservatives say the recent primary loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) shows a Republican like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush cannot win a presidential primary because of his views on immigration. Bush and another Florida politician hoping for the presidency are taking very different approaches to the issue.
As the dust settles on Cantor's stunning primary loss, some analysts say he was ousted because he was seen as a Washington insider. Others say Virginia’s open primary allowed Democrats and independents to sabotage his race.
There’s a network of freight trains that runs the length of Mexico, from its southernmost border with Guatemala north to the United States. In addition to grain, corn or scrap metal, these trains are carrying an increasing number of undocumented immigrants who aim to cross into the U.S.
And despite the many deadly challenges it poses, more and more children—both with adults and alone—have been risking the journey. That prompted President Obama this week to warn of "an urgent humanitarian situation."
Citing a more tolerant political atmosphere and a developing need for workers, leading Florida conservatives are calling on Congress to support and pass comprehensive immigration reform.
One good reason: It would renew the state's dwindling supply of warm bodies.
"Our birthrate is about 1.7 per couple. We're not even replacing ourselves now," warned Ed Moore, president of the Florida Center Right Coalition, one of three noted conservatives who joined former state GOP chairman Al Cárdenas in a conference call with state reporters.
Vice President Joe Biden was commencement speaker at one of the Miami Dade College graduation ceremonies this past Saturday.
The ceremony for about 2,000 graduates of the Homestead and InterAmerican campuses was held at the Kendall campus.
Biden spoke for about 15 minutes, mostly about immigration reform. He says it takes courage for immigrants to leave everything they know behind, and go to a country where they may not even know the language.
Mayra used to work on her father's farm when she couldn't afford to be a college student. Now that she attends Miami-Dade College, she still offers to lend a hand at the fruit stand her father manages.
Mayra Rubio was 3 months-old when she moved to Homestead with her brother and parents from Guadalajara, Mexico.
After she graduated from South Dade Senior High, she realized she could not afford the out-of-state tuition for public colleges and universities. Undocumented students do not get the opportunity to pay in-state tuition rates.
So instead, Mayra worked with her father in the fields and groves of South Miami-Dade County. She picked and packed avocados and mangos.
State Senate President Don Gaetz likes to introduce House Speaker Will Weatherford as the “taller, smarter, better-looking version of the Weatherford-Gaetz” duo. Their alliance has led to the quick passage of legislation like last year's ethics reform package and this year's sex offender bills. But on several education bills, the two diverge.
The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee got a big surprise this morning. Turns out in-state university tuition rates are already available for some undocumented immigrants, at least at Florida International University.
It may have strengthened the hands of opponents of the in-state tuition bill, but not enough to defeat it.
Severiana Novas-Francois and two of her daughters. Under Florida law, Novas-Francois has to wait until her children have lived here for five years to qualify for the subsidized health insurance known as Florida Kidcare.
More than a dozen people crowded the Salvadorean restaurant La Pupusa Factory in Little Havana to hear President Obama's remarks on immigration reform during his State of the Union address Tuesday.
They were part of a community forum with a focus on immigration reform and equal rights. After the address, there was mostly disappointment among the crowd.
"There was barely a mention of immigration reform. ... There was nothing that he said that pointed in that direction and we are all very disappointed about it," said Camilo Mejilla, one of the organizers.