Hospitals Appeal Immigrant Emergency Case

May 27, 2015

 A coalition of hospitals from across the state has appealed a judge's ruling about Medicaid payments for emergency care of undocumented immigrants, according to documents in the case.

Administrative Law Judge John D.C. Newton last month sided with the state Agency for Health Care Administration in a dispute that focuses on the duration of payments. Newton rejected arguments by the hospitals that the agency had overstepped its authority in approving rules related to the payments.

Navigating cultural issues like same-sex marriage and immigration has proved tricky for Republicans.

The country has grown rapidly more accepting of gay and lesbian marriage and relationships. And despite a shrinking base of white support and a fast-growing Latino population, Republicans have struggled to adjust.

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

Spring break for college students is often a time to head to the beach, or relax. However, I decided to spend my vacation differently. 

Each year, USF's Bulls Service Breaks sends students on various trips with the intent of raising social awareness--public health, gang prevention and immigration to name a few. 

I went on the immigration trip. 

Our group (11 of us) went to McAllen, Texas--a border town.  

This Post Was Last Updated At 5:15 p.m. ET.

Two days before the first of President Obama's executive actions on immigration were to take effect, the new rules have been put on hold by a federal judge's ruling in South Texas. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said the president overstepped his authority.

Many of Florida’s immigration organizations and nonprofits are preparing to meet the demands of President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration.

The president’s plan mostly covers undocumented immigrants who have been living in the United States for more than five years and have children who were born here.

Those with no criminal records will qualify for work permits.

The dirt road and lush tree canopy leading to the Catholic Charities medical clinic is in stark contrast to the bright lights surrounding the nearest hospital.

Here, sirens would be drowned out by choruses of crickets and katydids.

But this refurbished double-wide trailer off a rural highway in Dover is a medical refuge for some agricultural workers and their families.

John Moore / Getty Images/courtesy NPR

If things had gone as planned, USF Department of Anthropology Associate Professor Heide Castañeda would have spent the last two months in Texas and Mexico on a pair of research projects. She was going to talk to "mixed status" families on both sides of the border - families who have both legal and undocumented immigrants living in the United States - as well as meet with immigrants returning to Mexico.

Instead, she arrived just as the world's attention turned to the increasing number of Central American migrants fleeing their homes for what they thought was the promised land of the U.S.

Castañeda talked to University Beat on WUSF 89.7 about her visits to Sinaloa, Mexico, and McAllen, Texas, and what she saw there.

Here are some highlights from that interview:


When 83-year-old Peter A. Torino was a young child, he had an accident in his father’s workshop. The son of two immigrants was standing near the old Chevy his father was repairing when some gasoline spilled on to his legs and he went up in flames. The severity of the burns made it seem like he would never walk again. He talked with his son, Peter W. Torino of Seminole, about how Olympic runner Glenn Cunningham inspired his recovery.


The Florida Senate

Florida’s move toward Common Core standards in schools is sure to be discussed during the upcoming legislative session.

Who, Exactly, Is A Gringo?

Aug 7, 2013

A college classmate asked me, "Where are you from?"

I gave him the long answer: I was born in Guatemala, but my mother is from Nicaragua, and I have lived in the U.S. my whole life.

"So, you're Guatemalan," he said. No, I'm not.

I may have been born in Guatemala, but I was raised in Florida. Regardless of the fact that I have lived in the U.S. since I was 2 years old, most Americans would find it strange to hear my grandma occasionally call me media gringa -- a half-gringa.

The Republican Party seems like two parties these days. In the Senate, Republicans joined a two-thirds majority to pass an immigration bill. But in the House, Republicans are balking.

Strategist Alex Lundry says it's hard to figure out the way forward when your party's base of power is the House of Representatives.

"One problem we have in the wilderness is that there are a thousand chiefs," he says. "And it is hard to get a party moving when you don't have somebody at the top who is a core leader who can be directive."

The national debate over immigration may be churning on in Washington, D.C., but there's one policy a growing number of states can agree on: driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Vermont, Connecticut and Colorado passed new laws this month allowing drivers without Social Security numbers to receive licenses or authorization cards. They join Nevada, Maryland and Oregon, whose governors signed similar laws in May. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn started the trend this year when he signed Senate Bill 957 in January.

Senator Marco Rubio continues to try to balance keeping Florida voters happy while trying to win over GOP backers on a national level, and a new poll is showing mixed results because of that. While a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows voters disapprove of how he's handling the immigration issue by a 41 to 33 percent margin, his job approval rating is up slightly to 51 percent.

Jeb Bush has created a stir with remarks he made during a speech on immigration, in which he said that women who immigrate to America are more fertile than women who are born in the country.

"Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans, over the last 20 years," Bush said. "Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity."

Forget, for a moment, about the bipartisan Gang of Eight, whose members crafted the original version of the immigration bill being taken up by the Senate this week.

There was a time when Jim DeMint was committed to helping Sen. Marco Rubio achieve his goals.

Not anymore.

At least not when it comes to remaking the nation's immigration laws.

DeMint is president of the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, which on Monday released a report contending that an immigration overhaul would cost U.S. taxpayers $6.3 trillion over 13 years in direct and indirect spending like welfare and public schools.

In the current debate over revamping the nation's immigration laws, there may be no elected official with more on the line than Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Screen grab / Courtesy of the Washington Post

My husband is a political show junkie, but not even he had time to catch all seven of Marco Rubio's Sunday morning TV news appearances. 

Yes, seven. That's a record, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The Republican Senator went on a media blitz to tout the bipartisan immigration reform bill he's been crafting as part of a Congressional posse known as the Gang of Eight. The bill is expected to be revealed any day now.

The Associated Press Stylebook has decided to recommend against the use of the phrase "illegal immigrant" by journalists because of concerns about accuracy, according to Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute's "Sense Making Project."

Since 1953, the AP has been publishing a stylebook that has become a go-to resource for journalists, writers and advertisers when it comes to style and usage.

But, the AP kicked up some controversy recently when its new stylebook recommended against using the phrase "illegal immigrant."

Dalia Colón / WUSF Public Media

Any day now, the bipartisan group of Senators known as the Gang of Eight are set to release their plan for immigration reform. As the estimated 11 million immigrants living in this country illegally wait to learn their fate, opinions are swirling. So we figured it was time for some, you know, facts.

Here are some stats on the 7,502 citizens naturalized in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area in 2011, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.