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Man in uniform stands near school gate as children file in
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Every morning at Dover Elementary, near the strawberry fields of Plant City, upbeat music used to blare from speakers outside the front gate. I first met school resource officer Pedro Arroyo there one day in January. He greeted the children as they came in. Many stopped to give him a handshake, a fist bump, or a hug. 

Last month immigration rights groups sued the federal government to release migrants in South Florida detention centers because of the risks of infection from the new coronavirus. That’s what a U.S. judge is now ordering the Trump Administration to do.

immigration rope lines
iStock

An organization representing immigration attorneys is suing the Trump administration, saying it puts lawyers and immigrants at risk by not relaxing legal deadlines during the coronavirus pandemic.

ANDREA TUDHOPE / AMERICA AMPLIFIED: ELECTION 2020

On a Monday night, a week before the Iowa caucuses, about 20 residents gathered at the Norelius library in Denison, Iowa, for a mock caucus. Latina activist Alma Puga, the organizer, called the caucuses the "Disneyland of politics."

President Trump is putting new immigration restrictions on Nigeria and five other countries, the Department of Homeland Security announced Friday, in the latest move to reshape U.S. immigration rules.

The new policy restricts immigrant visas for citizens of Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. It does not ban them from traveling to the U.S. for other reasons.

By putting restrictions on the six countries, the Trump administration nearly doubles the number of nations targeted by some form of travel ban.

The MAVNI program allowed non-U.S. citizens to enlist in the armed services if they had foreign language skills or other special expertise. But the program is now at a standstill.

A new study says allowing the estimated 750,000 undocumented immigrants living in Florida to obtain driver’s licenses would not only ease their lives, but also increase state revenue and public safety.

panelists at a conference
Erin O'Brien

Immigration laws pushed by the Trump administration are having significant impacts on the psychological well-being of young people in America and sometimes can even lead to suicidal behavior, a researcher from the University of South Florida said.

Immigration Check For New Florida Employees Would Be Mandatory Under Proposal

Oct 25, 2019
Protesters lined up in front of U.S. Rep Kathy Castor's office on Tuesday for a "Close the Camps" rally, aimed at shutting down immigration detention centers earlier this year..
WUSF Public Media

Two prominent Republican senators will push to require Florida private employers to use the E-Verify system to check the immigration status of new workers, as the presidential election kicks into full swing next year.

Immigration advocates say 7,200 Florida children could be harmed if their parents lose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – or DACA - benefits that allow them to stay in the country. 

The United States Supreme Court will consider oral arguments Nov. 12 in a case brought by the Trump Administration that would take away those benefits. 

The Supreme Court may be eager to portray itself as an apolitical institution. But this term, political questions writ large are knocking at the high court door.

The upcoming term will almost surely be a march to the right on almost every issue that is a flashpoint in American society. Among them: abortion, guns, gay rights, the separation of church and state, immigration and presidential power.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings does not want Central Florida to be home to a shelter for unaccompanied children who illegally cross the border.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement wants a site that can house 500 children and 500 workers in total with two acres of recreational space. The federal government is eyeing a Travellodge near the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail and State Road 528.

White House YouTube Screenshot

A new Department of Homeland Security rule means immigrants legally in the United States may no longer be eligible for green cards if they use food stamps, Medicaid and other public benefits.

Florida Policy Institute analysts say that’s already having a “chilling effect” on immigrants coming into the country, individuals now worried about applying for medical and housing assistance.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

"Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge," Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Tuesday, twisting Emma Lazarus' famous words on a bronze plaque at the Statue of Liberty.

After a mass shooting in Texas intensified a partisan divide about immigration, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida has decided to postpone a statewide “listening tour” focused on the controversial topic.

“The rhetoric is so charged across the political spectrum that in order to have a truly productive listening tour we’ve decided to delay to a later date,” state Sen. Joe Gruters, who also serves as chairman of the state GOP, told The News Service of Florida in a text message Monday.

Tampa protesters showed up last month about the detention center in Homestead.
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

A Homestead detention camp that has housed thousands of undocumented migrant children is emptying out, federal officials said Saturday.

Lights for Liberty poster shows a little boy reaching towards the Statue of Liberty while being pulled away by a hand.
Lights for Liberty

Around the nation on Friday evening, groups are gathering to hold vigils for the migrants being held in immigration detention centers.

The ceremony, called “Lights for Liberty," includes events in St Petersburg, Tampa, Lakeland, and Sarasota.

Protesters lined up in front of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor's office for a "Close the Camps" rally, aimed at shutting down immigration detention centers.
Ti'anna Davis / WUSF Public Media

By Carrie Pinkard and Ti'Anna Davis

“Babies don’t belong in cages.” “Close the camps.” “We are better than this.”

Those were the words written on the picket signs of a few dozen protestors standing in the summer heat outside U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s office as part of a national “Close the Camps” protest.

Miami is just days away from hosting the first Democratic national presidential debate. Last week, President Donald Trump officially launched his campaign and called for Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents to detain thousands of undocumented immigrants across the country, including here in Miami.

President Donald Trump on Sunday denied reports that hundreds of migrants would be flown from the Mexican border to Florida and other areas in the U.S. interior to lessen the workload at crowded Border Patrol facilities.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, also on Sunday, acknowledged that federal officials did initially alert local leaders of the possibility that migrants would be flown to two South Florida counties. But Trump appeared to blame the media for "false reporting."

DeSantis Says Migrant Flux Is 'Something We Don't Want'

May 18, 2019

A day after local officials said the federal government plans to send about 1,000 migrants a month to two South Florida counties, Gov. Ron DeSantis bemoaned the move, arguing that under his leadership the state has been “very cooperative” with federal immigration authorities.

President Trump is considering sending a new round of troops to the southern border. The military withdrew some service members from the border in December, after they laid miles of concertina wire – large steel coils with razor-sharp teeth.

Florida Lawmakers Debate Sanctuary Bills

Apr 21, 2019

A pair of bills are inching their way closer to the Florida House and Senate Chambers. Senate Bill 168 and House Bill 527 would prohibit local governments from sanctuary policies.

On Friday’s Florida Roundup, we devoted the full hour to the debate over immigration and sanctuary cities in the Sunshine State.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says immigrants and non-citizens in South Florida should not fear a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

During a visit to Miami Thursday to meet with local business leaders, Ross—who oversees the census—emphasized that Census Bureau workers cannot share people’s responses with other government authorities. The comment came in response to continuing concerns that immigrants will sit out the census for fear their answers could be released to federal immigration authorities.

Thousands of troops who were deployed to the border in the fall have left, but the Trump Administration may call for a second deployment of thousands more.

President Trump used his first prime-time address from the Oval Office to make the case for his controversial border wall. The president's demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding — and Democrats' opposition — has led to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Here we check some of the arguments made by the president and top Democrats in their response.

Trump's Speech

Claim 1: Humanitarian and security crisis

"There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southern border."

A listener wrote: "What ethical calculus has been used to decide that NPR will broadcast POTUS live?"

He was referring to President Trump's Oval Office address tonight, his first from that venue. It is expected to be on the topic of immigration and his demand, as part of the negotiations to end the partial government shutdown, for funding for some kind of barrier on the southwest border.

When we set out to try to look back on the year that was in politics, we started with a list that grew ... and grew ... and grew. After a couple of days, the list was just shy of 100 news events. That's about one notable story every three days.

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