Backlog In Miami's Immigration Court, Irma's Impact On The Keys Housing Crisis & The Florida Bay

Oct 9, 2017

The Florida Roundup tackles a big backlog in immigration court, the housing squeeze in the Keys after Irma and how the storm may have helped sea life but hurt those making a living from the sea. 

This week's guests on The Florida Roundup with host Tom Hudson: 

  • Myriam Masihy, Telemundo 51/NBC 6 South Florida
  • David Ovalle, The Miami Herald
  • Nancy Klingener, WLRN
  • Jenny Staletovich, The Miami Herald

Thousands of immigrants waiting for their day in U.S. Court in Miami have seen their cases delayed as a nationwide backlog of asylum cases grows. It takes about a year and a half for an immigrant in South Florida to see a judge in an asylum hearing.

About half the delayed cases over the past year have been postponed because the Department of Justice has sent immigration judges from here to other places as the Trump administration focuses on immigration cases in border towns.

Consumer investigative reporter Myriam Masihy, who reported on the backlog for Telemundo 51 and NBC 6 South Florida,  speaks about the investigation. 

Read more: Crisis in the Courts: Immigration Backlog Puts Families in Limbo

Even before Hurricane Irma, it was tough to work and live in the Keys. Jobs in tourism industry pay less than average in Monroe County while housing costs are high. Now, with the county's stock of mobile homes considered destroyed, the housing crunch in the Keys has gone from bad to worse. 

WLRN's Southernmost reporter Nancy Klingener joins  Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle to talk about recovery in the Keys. 

While the storm was bad for housing, it may have helped the environmental situation in Florida Bay for fish and wildlife. Irma stirred up ocean water for days, bringing much needed circulation to the bay.

The Miami Herald's environmental reporter Jenny Staletovich talks about how the storm may have been good news for sea life.