The Florida Independent

Posts by Marcos Restrepo

Marcos Restrepo lives in Hollywood, Fla. He covers K-12 education, immigration, jobs and labor issues (including wage theft), HIV and AIDS, and the growing impact of Internet legislation on our daily lives. Email him at marcos [at] floridaindependent [dot] com.

Residents, activists stage Stations of the Cross to oppose immigration detention center

By | 04.09.12 | 10:59 am

As part of a permanent campaign to protest a proposed immigration detention center in South Florida, more than 60 residents and immigrant advocates gathered Saturday to stage the Stations of the Cross.

DREAM Activists open to Rubio’s ‘conservative-Republican alternative’

By | 04.05.12 | 4:47 pm

CNN.com contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. writes Thursday, “I call the GOP approach to the DREAM Act something else: A common sense solution. It could break a stalemate and improve millions of lives. And it could only be opposed for ugly partisan reasons.” That sentiment is stirring up debate among longtime DREAM Act supporters.

Reps from Florida take positions on Arizona’s immigration enforcement law

By | 04.05.12 | 12:27 pm

In the ongoing legal battle over Arizona’s S.B. 1070 immigration enforcement law, which will be taken up by the Supreme Court later this month, members of Florida’s congressional delegation have signed court briefs on both sides of the issue.

Coca-Cola withdraws from ALEC, organization behind Stand Your Ground law

By | 04.05.12 | 10:17 am

The Coca-Cola Company announced Wednesday it is withdrawing from the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC, which has been accused by progressive organizations of working “to disenfranchise African Americans, Latinos, students, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor.”

Rubio’s ‘conservative-Republican’ DREAM Act may not fly with immigration restrictionists

By | 04.04.12 | 11:47 am

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., stirred up the immigration debate last week when he announced a proposal to offer a “conservative-Republican alternative” to the DREAM Act, but it might not be enough for “attrition through enforcement” supporters, including Mitt Romney and his immigration advisor Kris Kobach.

Copycat immigration enforcement bill dies in Mississippi Senate

By | 04.04.12 | 9:57 am

An immigration enforcement bill that contains the same type of provisions that have Arizona’s S.B. 1070 poised for a Supreme Court hearing died Tuesday in the Mississippi Senate.

Immigrant advocates prepare for Supreme Court fight over Arizona’s crackdown

By | 04.04.12 | 8:37 am

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about Arizona’s immigration enforcement-only law on April 25, immigrant advocates, civil rights activists and other organization have issued documents and filed briefs opposing the state’s law.

Florida senator launches Stand Your Ground website, task force

By | 04.03.12 | 1:22 pm

State Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, announced Tuesday that he has formed a task force to review Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.

Rubio’s ‘conservative-Republican alternative’ to the DREAM Act draws criticism

By | 04.03.12 | 9:42 am

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (Pic by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr)

Sen. Marco Rubio’s recent proposal to offer a “conservative-Republican alternative” to the DREAM Act continues to draw criticism from media outlets that say it could result in “a half-measure that produces only a different sort of legal limbo” for immigrants.

GOP elected officials, including Rubio, say they’re working on the legislation in an effort to reach out to Latino voters before the November presidential election.

The DREAM Act, which was first introduced in Congress 10 years ago, would grant those who entered the U.S. illegally before the age of 16 conditional permanent resident status for a period of six years, after which they would be eligible to become legal permanent residents if they obtain at least an associate-level college degree or serve in the military for two years.

Eric Liu, author and former Clinton policy adviser, writes in Time magazine that “in recent days this son of Cuban immigrants has been floating an immigration proposal that would unabashedly create a two-tiered system of Americans: real and not real.”

“Rubio’s idea is a response to the DREAM Act, which once had bipartisan support but is now toxic to a GOP base that’s become rabidly restrictionist,” Liu adds.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who supports the DREAM Act, wrote Monday in the Huffington Post that a proposal backed by Rubio “would allow certain young people to eventually earn legal status by attending certain four-year colleges or serving in the U.S. military,” but “would bar these young people raised in the United States from ever becoming citizens.”

In an editorial published Monday, Bloomberg News wrote that Republicans “have some catching up to do. After failing to support President George W. Bush’s comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans voted most recently in 2010 to kill the Dream Act”:

An insincere approach to the Dream Act, however, runs the risk of backfiring. In interviews, Rubio has been unclear about what he’s hatching for Dream-age illegal immigrants (those under 35 who entered the U.S. before age 16 and have spent at least 5 years here), saying he wants “a visa process that legalizes them and wouldn’t prohibit them in the future from accessing the citizenship process, but it wouldn’t give them a pathway to it specially carved out.” … A half-measure that produces only a different sort of legal limbo will not do these young people much good. Nor is it likely to solve the Republicans’ electoral problem.

Congresswoman ‘very proud to be associated with Invisible Children,’ despite anti-gay ties

By | 04.02.12 | 3:53 pm

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, told Florida students Friday she is “very proud to be associated with Invisible Children,” the organization that earlier this year launched the widely disseminated social media campaign to capture Uganda’s Joseph Kony, wanted for war crimes.

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