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U.S. Senate moves immigration bill as Florida leaders bash Gov. Scott for licenses veto listen

06/11/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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By a vote of 82 to 15 Tuesday, the U.S. Senate cleared the way for debate on bi-partisan legislation that creates a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. Even though the procedural vote cleared the Senate by a wide margin, many Republicans have said they won’t support the bill as it is.

It remains likely the legislation will see some changes to border patrol provisions. Before the Senate vote, President Barack Obama appealed to conservatives who are hesitant to ...

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Tampa Dream Defenders criticize Governor Scott for vetoing bill to make it easier to get licenses listen

06/06/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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This week Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill passed by the Legislature to make it easier for undocumented Floridians to get identification documents like driver's licenses.

Thursday afternoon the Tampa Dream Defenders held a press conference to criticize Gov. Scott for his veto.

I interviewed Marisol Marquez about her concerns.

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Florida labor and religious groups push for immigration reform listen

06/04/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Activists in favor of an immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate are hoping it gets approved before the Senate breaks at the end of this month. During a phone conference Tuesday, several groups said they are optimistic the measure will be spared any harmful amendments before it’s voted on.

The call was hosted by the labor group, AFL-CIO. David Fernandez is with the Florida chapter.

“With over 70% of Florida voters saying that they support a tough, but...

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Immigrant rights groups to rally at Sen. Marco Rubio's office as part of national week of action listen

05/31/13 Roberto Roldan
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The Tampa Dream Defenders, along with other immigrant rights organizations, are demanding amnesty and equal rights for all 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S . This week is a Legalization for All National Week of Action.

The National Week of Action comes as lawmakers in Washington debate the proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill. A spokesperson for Tampa Dream Defenders, Veronica Juarez, said the movement Legalization for All aims to present an alternat...

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Senator Rubio tells Tampa audience recent Obama administration scandals are due to political culture listen

05/20/13 Naveen Sultan
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke in Tampa on Saturday, but instead of focusing on immigration reform he railed against the recent IRS, AP and Benghazi scandals. At the Hillsborough County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner Rubio said he is concerned about excessive government. He said the Obama administration’s criticism of the GOP has created a culture of politics that is responsible for these scandals.

“When you go around demonizing your opponents, when you go around tel...

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Immigration reform targeted during Ybor City May Day celebration listen

05/02/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Immigration reform could become a reality now that some United States Senators have suggested ideas that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people. Activists made that their focus Wednesday during a May Day protest in Ybor City’s Centennial Park. The ACLU of Florida’s Paola Everett said the legislation is a start, but more needs to be done.

"We really need to make sure that this immigration reform includes fair access to education. That it allows people to go back...

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Lakeland immigration reform advocates side with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio listen

05/01/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Community activists are pushing immigration reform for the 11 million undocumented people in the country. During a Republican fundraiser in Lakeland Wednesday, more than a dozen people waved signs calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to support a pathway to citizenship measure introduced in the Senate by Marco Rubio, who was a speaker at the luncheon.

Rubio and 7 of his colleagues in the Senate have formed what people are calling the Gang o...

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Inter-faith group calls on Washington lawmakers to support pathway to citizenship listen

04/29/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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An inter-faith group is pushing for federal legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship. PICO United Florida is kicking off a month-long campaign Monday to garner support from Florida members of Congress including Lakeland Republican Dennis Ross.

The group plans to hold prayer vigils in front of his office every weekday from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. through the first week of May.

Nanci Palacios is a spokesperson for PICO United Florida.

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Tampa Dream Defenders ask Tampa City Council to support driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants listen

04/18/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Undocumented immigrants in Florida cannot legally drive. Thursday morning a group called the Dream Defenders asked Tampa City Council to adopt a resolution supporting a change in state law.

Alekos Zambrano presented an idea called “licenses for all” to city council members.

“For the 1.5 million undocumented immigrants in Florida and in counties like Miami-Dade county for one, 70% of the misdemeanors that they receive and end up getting deported for are traffic related.”

Th...

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Two-hundred mile march for farmworkers' rights doesn't hurdle Publix roadblock listen

03/18/13 Lenka Davis
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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About 1500 farmworkers and their allies completed their 200 mile, two week March for Respect, Rights and Fair food yesterday in Lakeland. They gathered at the headquarters of Publix in hope that the supermarket giant would honor what they’re calling a Fair Food Program.

More than a decade ago south Florida tomato harvesters began a campaign for fair working conditions. Before the Coalition of Immokalee Workers organized, wages had not gone up in more than 20 years and workers are still ...

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