immigration

Holly Pretsky / WLRN

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the Trump administration's immigration policies "abhorrent and horrific" Thursday  morning after a private roundtable with Miami-area immigrant advocates.

"There has been fear sown through our immigrant community... causing them to fear interacting with any government entity," said Wasserman Schultz.

Representatives from Catholic Charities, FANM or Haitian Women of Miami, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and other groups were among those who met with Wasserman Schultz at her Sunrise office.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Henry Flagler’s railroad and Napoleon Broward’s pledge to drain the Everglades forged the beginnings of today’s modern South Florida. No two forces have been as influential on the economy as immigration and real estate. The two are intertwined with Flagler and Gov. Broward. Immigrants provided the labor, while the railroad and draining of the Everglades opened up real estate.

We asked for listener questions about the economy and several of them were focused on these two issues.

WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION? SUBMIT IT HERE.

Immigration advocates claim that about half of the most lucrative startups in America were founded by immigrants. But it's complicated for a foreigner to start a company in America — there's no such thing as a startup visa.

That's why some entrepreneurs are "hacking the system" through a workaround that started as an experiment in Massachusetts and has expanded to five other states.

President Trump has been tweeting about a federal court ruling that temporarily blocked his plan to suspend funding for "sanctuary cities."

These are cities — among them New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco — that have limited their cooperation with federal immigration authorities. For example, they may refuse to detain people who are in the U.S. illegally on behalf of the federal agents.

Now, the Trump tweets:

About 1 million Americans live in Mexico, and many of them do so illegally. But it’s much easier to navigate life in Mexico as an immigrant without proper documents than it is in the United States.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson explores this with two people who have firsthand experience with the differences.

Editor’s Note: Here & Now agreed not to use our guests’ last names for this conversation.

Interview Highlights

On Eddie’s immigration story and the limitations of his status

Updated 11:45 p.m. ET

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities, commonly known as sanctuary cities.

For the first time in more than a decade, Mexicans no longer make up the majority of immigrants staying in the U.S. illegally, according to new estimates by the Pew Research Center.

Read a version of this story in Spanish.

As the White House pushes Congress to fund President Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall, a new wrinkle has emerged that could stymie parts of the massive project.

Miami Passport Office Shut Down Until Further Notice

Apr 24, 2017
Tim Sackton / Flickr

Getting a U.S. passport for many residents of the Southeast just became a tougher task with the closing of the U.S. State Department’s Miami Passport Agency for possibly two weeks.

The agency’s website says the office at 1501 W. Biscayne Blvd. in downtown Miami is closed to the public until further notice, unable to take appointments or process passports.

Callers to the appointment line, 877-487-2778, seeking times for the next two weeks are offered appointments at the agency offices in Atlanta or New Orleans.

Emilly Michot / Miami Herald

Earlier this year, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez  – spelled G-I-M-E-N-E-Z  – made the politically unpopular decision to play immigration ball with President Trump.

Charles Reed / ICE (via AP)

COMMENTARY

I support immigration reform – but like most Americans, I don’t get that worked up about my government expelling undocumented immigrants convicted of felonies.

Mark Hedden / WLRN

The end of the wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which allowed Cuban refugees who made it to U.S. soil to stay in the country, also means the end of another phenomenon in the Florida Keys: refugee boats that were abandoned in remote islands.

Florinda Lorenzo has been in the U.S. illegally for more than a decade but checks in with federal immigration agents in Baltimore several times a year. Until recently, it had become routine, almost like a trip to the dentist.

Many immigrants who are here illegally — like Lorenzo — are not in hiding. Hundreds of thousands of them report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a regular basis. They've been allowed to stay because past administrations considered them a low priority for deportation.

President Trump is trying to put more muscle into his campaign slogan of "Buy American and Hire American" and is preparing to sign an executive order Tuesday aimed at strengthening existing government policies to support domestic products and workers.

Trump is expected to sign the order during a visit to the Snap-on tool company in Kenosha, Wis.

Millions of taxpayers are rushing to complete their federal and state filings before the April 18 deadline. Among them are several million people in this country illegally, and there are signs that fewer such immigrants are filing than in years past.

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