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Florida Immigrant Coalition

Advocates call on Legislature to focus on working Floridians during annual ‘Awake the State’ event

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State lawmakers aren’t looking out for everyday Floridians, an advocate for one of the state’s largest labor unions said Tuesday. “In 2010, Rick Scott said ‘let’s get to work.’ In 2014, he said ‘let’s keep working,’” said Rich Templin, the legislative and political director for the Florida AFL-CIO. “The problem is, Florida is not working for most of our families and nobody in the building is fighting for them.” Templin was one of several advocates who spoke out during the…

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Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform formed as Legislative Session formally begins

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With numerous criminal justice reform bills already moving through Florida House and Senate committees this year, a nonpartisan coalition called The Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform announced Monday its formation on the eve of the 2017 Legislative Session. The Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform includes the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU of Florida, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, League of Women Voters, R Street Institute, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Florida Public Defender Association, Florida Legal Services, Florida Immigrant Coalition, New…

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Donald Trump’s rise is driving immigrants to become citizens

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On a recent Saturday morning in South Florida, 50-year-old Edgar Ospina stood in a long line of immigrants to take the first step to become an American. Ospina has spent almost half his life in the U.S. after emigrating from his native Colombia, becoming eligible for citizenship in 1990. But with Donald Trump becoming a more likely presidential nominee by the day, Ospina decided to wait no more, rushing the paperwork required to become a citizen. “Trump is dividing us…

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Kathy Castor praises Obama immigration actions as case goes to Supreme Court

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Arguments were held in the Supreme Court Monday in United States v. Texas, the intensely fought legal battle regarding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that he made in November of 2014. Obama’s proposal would create a new program to allow the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to obtain temporary work authorization to remain in the country. The administration also intends to expand the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA, that provides similar relief and work permits to undocumented…

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Donald Trump’s emergence fuels naturalization efforts locally, nationally

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Donald Trump officially kicked off his presidential campaign in June by labeling Mexicans as drug traffickers and rapists. His declaration that the security wall he envisions the Mexican government will pay for “just got 10 feet higher!” – electrifies the thousands of fans who attend his rallies nationwide. While such statements have made Trump an unexpected favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination, it’s also the last thing that the now much-derided GOP establishment ever hoped, or imagined, would be the…

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Protesters ring rotunda for Rick Scott’s State of the State speech

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Nearly 200 protesters from South Florida jammed the Capitol’s fourth floor Rotunda as Gov. Rick Scott gave his State of the State address. The group, part of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, came up in buses and many are being hosted by the First Presbyterian Church downtown. Its pastor, the Rev. Brant Copeland, wrote in a recent newsletter that his church was “hosting 110 of these visitors on Tuesday and half are spending the night with us.” Copeland has long been a voice for those…

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Immigration activists protest in Tampa on anniversary of Obama executive action

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

On the first anniversary of President Obama‘s executive actions that would have shielded more than 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation — a move that has been put on hold in the courts — immigration activists groups held demonstrations in Tampa and around the country on Friday to make the occasion. It comes as GOP presidential candidates from Donald Trump on down have had lots of harsh things to say about the issue, with the idea of comprehensive immigration reform…

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