immigration

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.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8065/8266066249_2bac85a7c5_z.jpg
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
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-DC/National-Immigration-Forum/63240625785

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

U.S. AND CUBA DIPLOMACY

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.

The 2014 Florida Roundup

Dec 26, 2014
Miami Herald

Note: This is a pre-recorded episode of the Florida Roundup. 

  On the Florida Roundup, we look back at the year that was 2014. The year ends with the biggest change in U.S. - Cuba relations in almost two generations.

ELECTIONS

Wet-Foot, Dry-Foot Policy Stays In Place For Now

Dec 26, 2014
Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The Cuban immigration policy known as "wet-foot, dry-foot" — where migrants who make it to U.S. soil can stay, while those intercepted at sea are returned to Cuba — remains in place after President Obama's announcement of normalizing relations with Cuba.

"Essentially everything remains the same. Our missions and operations here in the Southeast are unchanged," said Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma, spokesman for the Coast Guard's District 7 in Miami.

Edward Garza / Mexican-American Council

South Florida’s best known Christmas traditions involve food. La caja china. Hallacas. But one of the richest customs involves street theater – plus a really cool donkey named Paco – and it reflects the increasingly important role Mexicans play in this region today.

freedigitalphotos.net/Mister GC

Florida tourism officials say America’s restrictive travel visa rules are costing the Sunshine State big bucks.

The Visa Waiver Program currently allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the United States for tourism without having to obtain visas.

The State Department launched a program this month that creates a safe passage to the United States from Central America. It would give some U.S.-based Latino parents the chance to bring over children they left in their home countries.

More than 57,000 child migrants made the trip across the U.S.-Mexican border this year. Many report being physically and sexually abused along the harrowing journey.

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