Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Florida Immigrant Coalition

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.

Javier Galeano / AP

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.

How Florida's In-State Tuition Bill Would Change The Life Of A Homestead Student

May 1, 2014
Mayra Rubio

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.

Florida House of Representatives

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 Channel

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.

Click to hear the full story.

Courtesy of Severiana Novas-Francois

In Florida, children who were born outside the United States -- and live here lawfully -- have to wait five years to qualify for the subsidized health care program known as Florida KidCare.

Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, and Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, are sponsoring legislation to drop the five-year waiting period.

The law made its third trip to the legislature this year, and will get its first hearing in the Senate committee Tuesday.

What Does Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter Need To Know?

Mar 2, 2014

Our If I Were Mayor project continues as we bring your ideas to the mayors in office.

Homestead's mayor Jeff Porter, a former councilman and vice mayor, took office last fall. He follows Steve Bateman, one of the three mayors arrested in August of 2013 for corruption charges.    


Lisann Ramos

Miami Dade College announced last week that it will be giving scholarships to DREAMers--the undocumented students who have grown up in the United States and would like to attend college here. 

MDC has joined forces with TheDream.US, who will be providing the scholarships. 

On Tuesday the college held a ceremony at the Freedom Tower where the 22 Miami-Dade scholarship recipients signed their scholar commitment forms surrounded by their families and advisors. 

Obama's Immigration Remarks In State Of The Union Not Enough, Locals Say

Jan 29, 2014
Laguardia Cross / 1Miami


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. 

Among Latinos, no group may have achieved the American dream as fully as Cuban-Americans.

Since arriving here, as a community, they've prospered. Surveys show they graduate from college at greater rates and have higher levels of homeownership than most other Latino groups.

Gaston De Cardenas / El Nuevo Herald staff

Fed up with underwriting the nation’s broken federal immigration system, Miami-Dade County plans to stop paying the cost of temporarily housing undocumented immigrants in its jails.

The dramatic shift in policy comes at a time when the cash-strapped county is coping with a tight budget, but some county commissioners say they are also calling attention to what they say is a serious human-rights issue.

“Not only is it about saving money,” said County Commissioner Sally Heyman, a Democrat in a nonpartisan post. “It’s about saving people.”

Cuban Shrine In Miami Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Dec 3, 2013
Jessica Meszaros

This past weekend The Shrine of Our Lady of Charity, or La Ermita de la Caridad, celebrated its 40th anniversary since it opened in Miami with funds from Cuban exiles.

La Ermita de La Caridad is a replica of the shrine in El Cobre, a village near Santiago de Cuba. The Miami shrine overlooks the sea that connects Cubans to their homeland.

Julio Estorino is a retired Cuban journalist who took part in building La Ermita in Miami 40 years ago.

European Parliament / Creative Commons/Flickr


On our rundown: violent protests by thousands against Haitian President Michel Martelly, the Dominican Republic’s decision to strip the citizenship of Dominicans of Haitian descent, and allegations that the Fort Lauderdale and Miami Gardens police are engaging in racial profiling. Plus: we look at how the Miami Book Fair has grown since it began 30 years ago.

Miami Herald

What do you when you live in the most violent place on earth and you can’t take another day of it?

We’re not talking about Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan. This is about Honduras, in Central America, little more than a two-hour flight from Miami. It has the highest murder rate of any nation in the world today, more than 80 per 100,000 people. Its second largest city, San Pedro Sula, has the worst homicide rate of any urban area in the world, almost 175 per 100,000.