immigration

Thousands of college-age students come to Florida every year as part of a federal cultural exchange program that has been accused of fostering abuse and exploitation, including cases of human trafficking, according to a national report released this summer.

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.

When Austin Savage heard about the migrant children who said they didn't have toothbrushes, soap or enough to eat at a nearby Border Patrol station, the concerned resident headed to the store. He loaded up a van full of toiletries, diapers and other supplies and drove to the facility in Clint, Texas.

But he said the agents in the parking lot refused to speak to him.

"The agents were just choosing to ignore us," Savage said, adding that he tried on Sunday to deliver the donations and again on Monday. "And neither attempt was successful."

Florida officials received a report in May of alleged child sexual abuse at the Homestead migrant shelter, marking the seventh report of such abuse at the controversial federal facility.

The Trump administration has proposed expanding a policy that would deny green cards to immigrants who access certain public benefits, like food stamps and Medicaid.

That would expand the list of services that some people seeking green cards get penalized for using.

Democrats in Congress spoke out against the proposed regulation in Sunrise Monday morning.

“This proposed rule change has sewn confusion and prompted immigrant families to start avoiding programs they need to raise healthy and productive children,” Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said.

A recent series of stories by the Miami New Times found that police in Miami-Dade County have made tens of thousands of arrests for small amounts of marijuana, even after a 2015 policy allowed them to issue civil citations for those same offenses.

Those optional arrests have at times led to life-changing consequences for the suspects.

The last time the federal government asked about citizenship status on the U.S. census was 1950. Now federal officials plan to do it again in 2020.

Tampa Bay Times

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Maria RodriguezOregon Health & Science University and Jens HainmuellerStanford University


A study was recently published by an associate professor of social work at Florida Gulf Coast University, and it looks at how the people living in Immokalee feel about their health.

Hal Yeager / Kaiser Health News

The number of legal immigrants from Latin American nations who access public health services and enroll in federally subsidized insurance plans has dipped substantially since President Donald Trump took office, many of them fearing their information could be used to identify and deport relatives living in the U.S. illegally, according to health advocates across the country.

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

More than 35,000 Florida residents have lost the health insurance they enrolled in under the federal health law because they didn’t prove U.S. citizenship or legal residency status by Sept. 5, the Miami Herald reports. 

The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of people who have unresolved issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law. Florida has the most cases at 93,800.

The Obama administration said Tuesday that letters are going out to about 310,000 people whose citizenship or immigration details don't match what the government has on file. 

These consumers need to send in their documentation by Sept. 5. Otherwise their coverage will end Sept. 30.

AP

While U.S. Sen.Marco Rubio and other Florida lawmakers tout their support for an overhaul of immigration policies, a showdown over emergency room care for illegal immigrants continues in Florida.

Two young adults who were brought to this country illegally as children turned themselves in so they could investigate accusations of human rights abuses inside a privately-operated 700-bed facility for illegal immigrants.