Immigration is a subject of intense political debate but it is also the subject of great art. For centuries, American writers and performers of all backgrounds have grappled with what it means to cross land and water — sometimes by choice, sometimes not — to take up life in a new world.

On Feb. 24, I will be joined in Miami by some of the country's most exciting young writers and performers who have also made such journeys and who have taken up the vital task of telling us what it means.

Nadege Green / WLRN

After the deadly 2010 Haiti earthquake, the United States halted all deportations to the island nation.

One year later, deportations resumed to Haiti amid a deadly cholera outbreak.

Wildrick Guerrier was one of 27 men deported to Haiti from the U.S. on Jan 20, 2011, according to a recently released study by human rights groups that documents the impact of returning deportees to a post-earthquake Haiti.

Guerrier developed cholera-like symptoms after being jailed in Haiti, a customary practice when deportees return. One week after his arrival, he died.

Lisann Ramos

A Texas Circuit Court Judge ruled against President Obama's executive action on immigration Monday night. This puts on hold immigration programs DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents) and the expansion of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

South Florida immigration groups aren't taking this decision lying down.

On Tuesday, several groups gathered to protest the judge's decision. DAPA and the DACA expansion have been put on hold,  but some undocumented Floridians are still optimistic. 

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is still pondering a run for the White house.

And Democrats are already taking shots at Rubio -- especially on his big issue, immigration.

Some are claiming he has back tracked on favoring immigration reform that that includes a pathway to citizenship for people in this country illegally now.

One of those Democrats is the Democratic National Committee Chair -- Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

Despite the president's diplomatic-restoration plans with Cuba moving through three days of Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill, discussions continue among South Floridians about parts of the policy. Whether changes to policy will influence change on the communist island is still up in the air. 

Florida Roundup: Diplomacy And Immigration

Feb 6, 2015

  On the Florida Roundup, we discuss the week's top stories with journalists.


U.S. lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill to discuss the renewed diplomatic relations with the communist island going forward. Despite the move to normalize relations, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voiced concerns about making concessions without progress in Cuba.

With the Department of Homeland Security’s funding deadline less than a month away, Republicans and Democrats are gearing up for what may be the next stage in Congress’ fight on President Obama’s immigration policies.

House Republicans have already passed their own version of DHS funding that would also block the president’s November immigration orders and deport up to four million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

During President Obama's State of the Union address tonight, a young, undocumented "DREAMer" from South Florida will be in the guest seat next to Democratic Congresswoman Lois Frankel.

Charlene Rupert, 21, of Palm Springs came to the United States from Venezuela with her grandmother when she was 11-years-old. She says she didn’t realize she was an undocumented immigrant until she was 16.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government gave more than 200,000 Salvadorans living here temporarily the opportunity to stay for at least another 18 months.

These immigrants are on something called Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. It's for immigrants who are already living in the United States illegally when a natural or humanitarian disaster hits their home country.

As far as I’m concerned, one of the year’s most important Latin American stories happened this week in China.

Yep, communist China. On Monday the government’s Internet watchdragon, known as the Great Firewall, pulled the plug on Gmail because it's a subversive instrument of free speech and dissent.

In the process, Beijing affirmed President Obama’s historic decision this month to pursue a policy of engagement with communist Cuba.