Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald Staff

Some U.S.-funded programs help would-be immigrants improve their lives and stay home.

TEGUCIGALPA    |    Here’s the first thing to know about Jessel Recinos: He’s a breathtaking rollerblader.

Almost every day, Recinos skates in Cofradía Park in San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second-largest city. He spins, makes hairpin turns and takes soaring jumps, his long locks blowing like wind socks. Kids scream his name as if he were a Honduran sports icon.

Here’s the second thing to know about Recinos: He should probably be dead.

Juan Salgado is president and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago, and today he was among the 24 winners of this year’s MacArthur Foundation “genius grants” who will each receive $625,000 over five years, no strings attached. Salgado’s organization has become a national model for helping immigrants learn English and improve their work skills.


Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Tuesday that multiculturalism is bad for the United States, adding that immigrants who close themselves off from American culture deny themselves access to economic rewards.

The former governor of Florida, who speaks fluent Spanish and often touts his success winning Latino votes in a party that badly needs them, addressed the issue in a packed northern Iowa diner as he met people in the crowd.

A young woman approached the candidate and asked how the federal government could help refugees better incorporate into U.S. society.

The White House is launching a campaign to encourage the 8.8 million legal immigrants in the U.S. to become citizens.

Puerto Ricans Head To Central Florida At Fast Pace For Climate, Jobs

Sep 14, 2015
Concilio via WMFE

In a small, crowded shopping plaza, the smell of mofongos drifts from Melao, a popular Puerto Rican bakery. A few doors down people eat plantains at Puerto Chino a Puerto Rican-style Chinese spot. Others buy books at libreria cristiana, a Spanish bookstore.

This is Buenaventura Lakes, part of Kissimmee St. Cloud, where Spanish is the new lingua franca and Puerto Rican flags propped in windows is now a common sight.

Janet Colon remembers less than ten years ago when the area was different.

Ever since the Tea Party began in 2009, various Republicans have been auditioning to lead this populist revolt. Rand Paul took a chainsaw to the federal budget. Ted Cruz almost shut down the government. Chris Christie and Scott Walker have been bashing Washington elites.

But it wasn't until Donald Trump came along that the populist base of the Republican Party found the right mouthpiece for all its grievances.

By now, you've probably seen the photo of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old refugee from Syria who died with his 5-year-old brother and mother after their small rubber boat capsized on its way to Greece. You might remember his Velcro shoes. His red shirt. His lifeless body lying face down in the sand.

Europe and the U.S.-Mexico border aren't the only frontiers being crossed by migrants. Thousands of Haitians are being deported from the neighboring Dominican Republic, and one local group is trying to help some of those those left behind.

Courtesy U.S. Embassy in Honduras

President Obama is asking Congress for $1 billion in new aid for Central America – especially violence-plagued countries like Honduras. One big goal is to reduce the massive waves of illegal immigration to the U.S., which we’re seeing in South Florida.

While in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa last week, I spoke with U.S. Ambassador James Nealon about how the Administration hopes to make this plan work – and about Washington’s growing realization that solving illegal immigration means improving conditions at its source rather than building walls at our border.

Que te vaya bien, Jon Stewart

Aug 7, 2015
Jim Bourg/Reuters

It's a sad night for comedy fans across the globe. News junkies, as well. It's Jon Stewart's final time hosting The Daily Show.

His show has inspired numerous copy-cat shows in places like Egypt, Iran, Chile and Thailand

Rebecca Blackwell / AP via Miami Herald


You don’t need to be a detective to know that the Dominican Republic has already begun deporting Haitian-Dominicans.

International media report this week that tent cities are sprouting up at towns like Anse-à-Pitres on Haiti’s side of its border with the D.R. This morning I spoke by phone with Mia Pean, a Haitian-American relief worker who lives near Anse-à-Pitres. Her organization just received a group of Haitian-Dominican youths who say they were deported from the D.R. a few days ago – even though they claim they were born there.

Maria Murriel / WLRN

Every Thursday night, Peggy Mustelier drives to the muggy, buggy edge of the Everglades to visit a man without a country.

Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports

President Barack Obama's overtures to Cuba really kicked into high gear recently with the official re-opening of embassies in Havana and Washington.

But re-establishing diplomatic relations after more than half a century isn't a cure-all. Washington and Havana are still divided on many fronts, such as the ongoing US embargo, Cuba's poor treatment of dissidents on the island and the prison at Guantanamo Bay, though White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday the administration was close to a deal for shuttering the prison.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

In June's midterm elections in Mexico, voter turnout was higher than expected. Surveys showed that voters were voicing frustrations with drug cartel violence and corruption. But an increasing number of Mexicans cannot wait for electoral changes to improve their situation. They see leaving as the only option.

One asylum-seeker, Constantino Morales, fled Mexico and settled in Iowa. But once in the US, he was met by a host of new challenges that Mexicans face when it comes to obtaining asylum.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent could face deportation from the Dominican Republic after a constitutional ruling stripped them of their citizenship.

South Florida has one of the largest Haitian populations in the U.S., and over the past few weeks, the Haitian community here has mobilized, holding protests and meetings.