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Deportation orders threaten Trump’s own turf: the real estate market

Immigrants represent a large share of the demand supporting house values, says a demographics expert amid warnings the system could be tested

Is Donald Trump, the property tycoon turned president, about to bust the housing market? Thats potentially one of the unanticipated impacts of the Trump administrations crackdown on illegal immigration, according to demographics experts and immigrants rights groups.

The effect of the mass deportations outlined in Department of Homeland Security memos released this week may not only affect real estate values at the lower and middle end of the housing market, they warn: they could resonate up to the top of the housing chain, testing the entire system in ways that are both novel and not clearly understood.

There are consequences for the economy and the whole of society, and the public doesnt understand the value immigrants bring to the housing market, warns Dowell Myers, director of the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of California.

They represent a large share of the demand supporting house values. If you were to subtract any part of that demand, it would jeopardize house values across the board.

In a comprehensive 2013 study, Immigrant Contributions to Housing Demand in the United States, Myers estimated that in this decade, immigrants nationwide will account for 32.2% of the growth in all households, 35.7% of growth in homeowners and 26.4% of growth in renter households.

The study found that the volume of growth in foreign-born homeowners has increased each decade, rising from 0.8 million added immigrant homeowners in the United States during the period from 19801990 to 2.8 million in the current decade.

While immigrants were once concentrated in a few gateway states, such as California, New York and Florida, the pattern of immigration after the 2007 economic crash is less concentrated, making the economic effect of mass deportation less easy to predict.

According to Alex Nowrasteh, a policy analyst for the Cato Institute, the effect of an immigrant crackdown on property values has already been seen, albeit on a small scale, after Arizona passed its controversial SB 1070 and Legal Arizona Workers Act.

Two hundred thousand people left because of those immigration laws at the same time as we had a housing collapse. So Phoenix suffered more than any other city except for Las Vegas, Nowrasteh says. We saw a huge increase in rental vacancies and a decline in home prices immediately after these laws were passed.

Immigrants, he says, have a disproportionate effect on the housing market because they rent property and buy houses. So now Trump wants to do nationally what the Arizona immigration laws did to the Phoenix housing market.

In California, the state with the largest immigrant population, a sustained crackdown on immigration could not only affect the lower end of the market but, in some areas, the top end of the market as well.

Its pretty clear what will happen, warns Myers. One way that people afford houses is by pooling incomes. So if you were to deport one of the three mortgage payers, that can destabilize the whole rest of the household. Immigrants are so interwoven into many communities that when you unravel one thread, you can destabilize it entirely.

House values, he considers, are like a pyramid. If you pull out a chunk from the bottom, the pyramid starts to collapse. The loss of the immigrants coming in at the bottom end doesnt directly affect prices in Beverly Hills or Silicon Valley but it will undermine the whole structure of pricing in a way that hasnt been tested before.

Myers report, published by the Research Institute for Housing America, corresponds with a report issued last year by the real estate website Trulia that found that the homeownership gap between native-born and immigrant homeowners has shrunk over the past two decades.

That gap is about 15 percentage points, down from nearly 21 points 15 years ago. While the rate of US homeownership stands at 66%, homeownership for foreign-born nationals has risen about 2.3 percentage points to more than half.

Critics of the Trump immigration orders say the value of the immigrant housing market is often overlooked, in part because undocumented workers who nonetheless qualify for mortgages are frequently not identified as such in official figures.

Further analysis by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute found that 33%, or 3.4 million, of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US own their homes or live with family members or friends who do.

In a separate study, the Migration Policy Institute estimates that about a million undocumented immigrants in the US hold college-level degrees.

Its wrong to think of undocumented homeowners as people working in low-skilled jobs and living together in a marginal neighborhood, says the institute director, Michael Fix. A large share, around 60%, of college-educated undocumented immigrants are working in middle- or high-skilled jobs.

The real danger here is the long-term chilling of immigration flows, legal and illegal, into the country, and that would be felt in our housing market, and people do not properly appreciate that almost half the number of recent immigrants to the US are college graduates.

A further consideration, says Fix, is that infrastructure projects, including a border wall, could be complicated by immigrant deportation efforts. Undocumented immigrants, in particular men, typically enjoy very high rates of employment as high as 95%.

While its residential projects that typically hire unauthorized immigrants, there will still be ripple effects on big public projects. They may not be undone, but they will certainly be complicated, Fix says.

According to a Pew Research projection, future immigrants and their descendants will account for 88% of the US population increase, or 103 million people, between 2015 and 2065.

Those figures alone should give the administration pause for thought, say analysts, since immigrant-driven housing demand will be needed to buoy the market as native-born baby boomers as move into retirement.

The housing market may not be the first concern, but President Trumps immigration orders could destabilize whole communities, says Myers. Were not playing around here. This is a serious business. Its pretty clear what could happen.

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Residents of Los Angeles’ Little Persia denounce Trump’s ‘unjust’ travel ban

Order has immediate chilling effect on Iranian community, as some worry about family and friends who have green cards and visas who are marooned in Iran

The sun still shined on Westwood Boulevard, the thrumming commercial heart of the biggest Iranian community outside Iran.

Families lunched on chicken kabob at Flame, Shaherzad and other restaurants. Students browsed titles in Farsi bookstores. Music lovers flicked through CDs of Ebrahim Ebi Hamedi, the king of Persian pop.

Just another Saturday in Tehrangeles, a portmanteau of Tehran and Los Angeles coined by exiles and their descendants also known as Little Persia, a term so well established Google Maps recognises it.

The apparent normality deceived. In hushed and bewildered tones, people wondered whether they still recognised the United States, the adopted homeland that had welcomed and sheltered them but now labelled them potential terrorists.

It is totally unjust. This will affect thousands and thousands of families that are completely innocent, said Siamak, a 56-year-old physician who fled Iran after the ayatollahs took over in 1979. We ourselves are victims of terrorism. Now we are branded terrorists?

The news was still sinking in: Donald Trump had signed an executive order halting arrivals from Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries as part of his extreme vetting to keep out terrorists.

The order, named the Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, imposes a a 90-day block on entry from citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia.

Irans foreign affairs ministry said it will take legal, political and reciprocal measures.

Overnight, many of the up to 500,000 Iranians and Iranian Americans who live in southern California felt as though the US border had clanged shut. If they leave, they may not be able to return. Those who are currently outside the US even those with green cards and visas are marooned.

My friend is visiting relatives in Tehran and now hes stuck, said a young bookseller, who like most interviewees did not want her name published. Hes got a job here, a mortgage, car payments. What will happen to him?

The question hung over every family with noncitizen relatives abroad. Its ridiculous, said Sam, a restaurant manager. Weve felt good here. California is very open-minded. But now this. His voice trailed off.

The director Ashgar Farhadi, who won an Oscar in 2012 for his film A Separation, and is nominated again for The Salesman, may not be able to attend next months ceremony, an absence which would fuel Hollywoods animus towards the Trump administration. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences called the prospect extremely troubling.

One middle-aged woman, loading groceries into a Porsche, quivered with indignation. Iranians are not murderers. Iranians are not terrorists. Americans should know that. She said sanity would return. Trump is not going to last so long. Theyll impeach him.

Trump had promised a crackdown during the campaign but the executive order still came as a shock. Californias Iranians, who often prefer the term Persian to distance themselves from Irans current leadership, form a thriving community with roots stretching back decades. Some arrived as students in the 1960s, followed by waves of exiles after the 1979 revolution.

Muslims tended to settle in Orange Country and the San Fernando valley, Jews in Westwood and Beverly Hills.

Anecdotal evidence suggests many Jewish Iranians voted for Trump because he strongly backed Israel and bashed Tehrans rulers. Some are unrepentant.

Yes, Trump! said one 70-year-old man who gave his name only as Kevin. He will stop the terrorists. You know when you leave your house, you lock the door, right? Hes doing right.

Asked whether a blanket ban on Iranian citizens was a good idea, Kevin hesitated. All, maybe not. But you have to lock your house.

Hassan Ali, a 29-year-old engineer from Pakistan who was buying pepper in Tehran Market, said targeting Muslims or any other religion was un-American. This country is supposed to be a melting pot.

The executive order seemed to have a chilling, immediate effect. Of 16 people of Iranian heritage interviewed at random in west LA, not one was willing to have their full name published.

Holly Dagres, a Middle East commentator, discovered the same reluctance among her contacts. Iranians are scared to share.

The community in Tehrangles learned to keep its head down during the hostile atmosphere engendered by the 1979 hostage crisis. Embracing the term Persian evoking carpets, cats and antiquity was a way to avoid connotations of terrorism and fanaticism.

But that linguistic sidestep did not deflect Trump, said Siamak, the physician. He has branded us. The stereotype is back. I fear things will get worse and worse.

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Paul Ryan lists Trump-era priorities as he insists Republicans have ‘mandate’

Speakers remarks at odds with president-elect as Trump tells CBS he plans to deport as many as three million people and fence may replace sections of wall

The wall that Donald Trump has promised to build on the US-Mexico border may in part be some fencing, the president-elect said in an interview released on Sunday, as the top Republican already in Washington hinted at disagreements and uncertainties for how they intend to govern together.

In an interview with CBSs 60 Minutes, Trump said there could be some fencing in his proposed wall, which would span nearly 2,000 miles and cost billions. On the campaign trail he promised that the barrier would be exclusively built of hardened concrete, rebar and steel.

Im very good at this, he told CBS. Its called construction.

Also on Sunday, Paul Ryan, speaker of the House and the lawmaker poised to write sweeping new legislation for the Republican-controlled government, said he believed his party had a mandate to reshape healthcare, taxes, regulations and border security for the Trump administration.

Discrepancies between Trumps promises and Ryans plans, however, suggested that the president-elect and his future Congress do not yet know how they will make such changes.

Ryan insisted, for instance, that Trumps priority would not be the mass deportation of millions of undocumented migrants.

That is not what our focus is, we are focused on securing the border before we get on any immigration, Ryan told CNNs State of the Union. We are not planning on erecting a deportation force, Donald Trumps not planning on that.

Trump has repeatedly promised a deportation force and in August said: Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone! In his CBS interview, he said he would deport as many as 3 million people.

What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate, Trump said.

But were getting them out of our country, theyre here illegally.

In June, Ryan broke with Trump over a proposed ban on Muslims entering the US. On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani, one of the president-elects advisers, said the ban would now be imposed on a country-by-country basis.

The ban would be restricted to particular countries, the former New York mayor told CNN, naming Syria and Yemen. All the rest from countries that contain dangerous populations, they would be subject to extreme vetting.

Giuliani suggested the US could work with regimes in Egypt and Pakistan for pretty good vetting, but not a complete ban.

Speaker Ryan also said the Republican party, which until last year largely supported Barack Obamas free trade agenda with Asia, was not entirely behind Trumps promises to impose high tariffs on countries such as China and Mexico.

Not tariffs, not trade wars, Ryan said, instead saying he wanted to fix our taxes on border adjustments.

He maintained that the party would find common ground with the new president, saying: Hes trying to make America more competitive.

Ryan echoed Trump in suggesting that the party intended to keep some parts of Barack Obamas Affordable Care Act, while repealing the healthcare law itself.

A full repeal could mean as many as 20 million people losing health insurance. Ryan told CNN that people 26 and younger could, according to his proposals, stay on their parents plan, and that Congress would need to have a solution for pre-existing conditions. He also said the party would propose refundable tax credits that would lower the cost of coverage.

We would have a healthcare system in America where everyone, regardless of income and position, he said, would get to buy what you want to buy, not what the government is making you buy.

But Ryan refused to answer questions about whether women would still be able to have birth control covered.

Im not going to get into all the nitty gritty details about these things, he said, adding, Im not going to get into hypotheticals about legislation that hasnt even been written yet.

Giuliani also insisted that Trump would have no conflicts of interest in office, even if he hands control of his sprawling, international business to three of his children, who have acted as his closest advisers.

Once he gets into government they will not be they will not be advising, Giuliani said. There will have to be a wall between them with regard to government matters.

Ryan also expressed confidence in Trump and his entourage, which includes Steve Bannon, a former investor and far-right media chief executive whose website, Breitbart, has trafficked in openly racist, sexist, homophobic and antisemitic writing.

Ive never met the guy. Ive never met Steve Bannon, Ryan said. So I have no concerns. I trust Donald Trump.

I believe that Donald is going to have a great set of choices to make for staffing [the White House], Ryan continued. Hes a successful person, he surrounds himself with successful people. So Im confident hes going to do the same here.

He denounced the perpetrators of hate crimes and racist graffiti that have been reported since Trumps victory, saying: They are not Republicans and we dont want them.

We are pluralistic, we are inclusive, and will continue to be. I really think people should put their minds at ease.

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Trump tells controversial group Clinton immigration plan will ‘abolish borders’

Trump speaks to group dedicated to people killed by undocumented migrants at an event closed to press, as Vice says one of its reporters arrested

After reversing course a day earlier on false claims about Barack Obamas birth, Donald Trump produced a familiar stance on another favourite theme on Saturday, telling an audience in Texas he would save American lives by securing the border.

Our nation should not accept one lost American life because our country failed to enforce its laws, the Republican presidential candidate said. This has to end. It will end if I become president, I promise you.

The event at which Trump spoke, in Houston, was closed to press. Vice News reported that one of its journalists was arrested for alleged trespassing at the hotel while inquiring about press access.

Earlier, Trumps standing on national security and foreign policy was attacked by the former defense secretary Robert Gates, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

At the lunchtime event, though, the Republican nominee concentrated on domestic policy, denouncing so-called sanctuary cities places that do not cooperate with all federal immigration enforcement and describing Hillary Clintons plan for comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship, as an amnesty that would mean a virtual end to immigration enforcement in the United States of America.

Trump claimed his Democratic rival was effectively proposing to abolish the borders around the country that she is supposed to be representing.

He was speaking at a luncheon in a Houston hotel held for the Remembrance Project, which bills itself as a voice for victims killed by illegal aliens. The group was founded by Maria Espinoza, the daughter of a Mexican immigrant father, in 2009. Its flagship initiative is The Stolen Lives Quilt, which depicts Americans killed by undocumented immigrants.

A subdued Trump spoke for about 15 minutes, then invited family members of victims, who wore T-shirts bearing names and images of their killed relatives, to tell their stories on stage.

The organisation has enjoyed a boost in attention and momentum during this election thanks to Trumps inflammatory comments about migrants and his contention that unauthorised immigration presents not only an economic but also a safety threat to America.

In his speech at the Republican national convention last July, the candidate named several people allegedly killed by undocumented immigrants, including Kate Steinle, whose shooting death on a San Francisco pier last year became a cause clbre for conservatives given that citys status as a sanctuary city.

Ive met many incredible people during this campaign but nothing has moved me more deeply than the time I have spent with the families of the Remembrance Project, Trump said on Saturday.

After initially inviting applications from members of the media to attend, the Project said on Friday that it was now a private event. It was livestreamed on YouTube.

Asked about a Vice report of one of its staff being arrested, a Houston police department spokesman confirmed that an adult male was arrested for trespassing at the event. According to police, hotel management asked them to arrest the 27-year-old for trespassing when he entered the hotel for a second time and refused to leave, shortly after complying with a prior request to exit.

According to the Vice report, Alex Thompson entered the lobby of the Omni to ask members of Trumps communications staff whether a final decision on access had been made.

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said the campaign was not involved in this incident or aware of the details surrounding it.

The event organizers were responsible for todays media presence and requested the campaign limit attendance to the traveling pool. The campaign had no staff presence at check-in for guests or media and therefore has no further knowledge of what occurred.

A man who answered the phone at the hotel said no one was available this weekend to discuss the arrest. In March, police arrested a CBS News journalist who was covering a Trump rally in Chicago when scuffles broke out amid protests. He was accused of resisting arrest but all charges were dropped.

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Trump spells out immigration policy but leaves deportation question open

Republican lists tough actions on undocumented migrants in Iowa speech and says claims of deportation flip-flop show media has missed the whole point

Donald Trump on Saturday spelled out new details of his immigration policy. He did not, however, answer lingering questions about whether or not he favors deportation for all undocumented migrants.

Speaking at a fundraiser for the Iowa senator Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for president went beyond his now famous promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

If elected, he said, he will institute nationwide E-Verify, stop illegal immigrants from accessing welfare and entitlements, and develop an exit-entry tracking system to ensure those who overstay their visas are quickly removed.

Although these policies were in an immigration plan proposed in August 2015, they have been rarely addressed since then, as the real estate developer as gone from long shot to major party nominee.

Trump offered no clarity on whether he would after all push for the deportation of all 11 million undocumented migrants currently in the US, a long-term and successful campaign promise. Uncertainty on his stance on the issue took hold this week, after he reportedly told Hispanic leaders at a roundtable meeting that he might be willing to support a path to legal status.

Trump subsequently told Fox Newss Sean Hannity that he would be willing to allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the US.

Theyll pay back taxes, he said, they have to pay taxes, theres no amnesty, as such, theres no amnesty, but we work with them.

Of his views on the immigration question, he added, there could certainly be a softening.

The Republican nominee had long pledged to support a deportation force to remove all 11 million undocumented migrants. On Thursday, he seemed to flip-flop on the issue again, telling CNN: Theres no path to legalization unless they leave the country. When they come back in, then they can start paying taxes, but there is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and then come back.

In Iowa on Saturday, Trump attacked the media for focusing on the deportation question instead of other aspects of his immigration policy.

He said: In recent days, the media as it usually does has missed the whole point on immigration. All the media wants to talk about is the 11 million or more people here illegally.

Trump claimed that law enforcement agencies knew about every single illegal immigrant, the good ones and the bad ones, and said that on day one of his administration all criminal illegal immigrants will be swiftly removed.

The deportation of illegal immigrants who commit crimes has bipartisan support and has long been a priority of the Obama administration.

Trumps campaign has suggested that he will soon deliver a definitive immigration speech, clearly stating his position.

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Puerto Ricans in Florida: the ‘outsiders’ with a powerful swing vote

Puerto Ricans have left behind the island amid financial crisis, but language barriers and xenophobic rhetoric leave them feeling cast aside in the mainland

For the citys 66 million annual tourists there are parts of Orlando that you cant help but see: the Mickey Mouse-shaped street lamps; the citys enormous ferris wheel and billboard after billboard hawking the new Harry Potter attraction at Universal Orlando.

Voices of America box

But theres another Orlando that, like Disney Worlds utilidors, you wont see in the trip from the airport to the theme park, unless you go looking for it an Orlando with more Spanish moss than palm trees, one with dozens of little lakes, and train stations to ferry people to work rather than the Magic Kingdom.

Almost 48% of companies here are minority-owned and nearly 30% of the population is Latino. In Osceola County just south of Orlando, where housing is somewhat less expensive 48% of firms are minority-owned and 49.7% of the population is Latino.

That number is growing, in part spurred by a recent influx to Florida of Puerto Ricans fleeing the effects of the financial crisis on the island. The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration regional office estimates that 1,000 Puerto Rican families relocate to Florida every month; as a result, the state is poised, for the first time, to edge New York out as the state with the most Puerto Ricans.

And though many Puerto Rican voters in Florida are focused on the financial crisis on the island, that doesnt mean that theyre unconcerned with the rhetoric around immigration and Mexicans, as epitomized by statements made by people like Donald Trump.Like many Latinos in the US, they know full well that most white Americans who run around insulting Mexicans are using it as a substitute for Latino.

Orlando Rodriguez, 41, inside Lechonera El Jibarito #2, a Puerto Rican restaurant. Photograph: Bastien Inzaurralde for the Guardian

Real estate broker Orlando Rodrguez, 41, spoke in Spanish, concerned that his English wasnt good enough and his accent too thick. When Im speaking to an American, if I dont speak properly sometimes they get annoyed, he explained. Thats what Ive mostly come across, he said, in terms of overt, individualized racism.

Americans dont see us as US citizens; Americans see all Latinos as Mexicans. Just like we think all Asians are Chinese they could be Korean, Japanese, Indonesian but we see them and think theyre all Chinese. Lots of Americans see [Latinos] as all the same.

And though this issues that individual groups of Latinos might be different from Cuba policy to the financial crisis on Puerto Rico, and from immigration enforcement to raising the minimum wage they all eventually find themselves bound together by their daily experiences. They arent all the same; yet they too often all get treated with the same basic disrespect.

Jose Martinez, 35,like many Puerto Ricans, has very fair skin. I look American, from the States, he explained. [But] when I start talking in English, I have an accent. He was at a cousins wedding on Cape Cod a few years ago, waiting to play pool and, when I came to the table, I changed the rules to the Puerto Rican way and the guys were cool with it, but the bouncer, [he heard] me, threw me out.

That was only his first time: When I worked with Fema [after Hurricane Sandy, inspecting housing damaged by the storm], when I went down to Queens, stayed the night and [the residents] looked at me normal until I started speaking and then they knew I was Puerto Rican.

But I was working for the federal government, so they were respecting me because I was doing the inspections. If not, you know what happens.

Julie Torres, 32, thinks that race plays a role in the way many white Americans view not just Puerto Ricans or just Latinos, but the whole relationship between the US government and Puerto Rico. There is a history of racialization that I think that does impact how we view Puerto Rico as kind of this other, this other entity, this other culture, this other people, that could come into play, the doctoral student said. I mean, people think American, [they think] white America.

Tania Irizarry: Everything has to do with the political system and with colonialism. Photograph: Bastien Inzaurralde for the Guardian

But unlike the 11 million undocumented immigrants Donald Trump has promised to deport in his first two years in office, Puerto Ricans are US citizens, and eligible to vote, whether they live in Puerto Rico or on the mainland.

In a swing state like Florida (where George W Bushs official margin of victory in 2000 was just 537 votes) an influx of thousands of Puerto Rican voters who lean Democratic could definitely swing Floridas 29 electoral college votes in November.

About 400,000 of people of Puerto Rican extraction now live in Orlando; many of the most recent arrivals speak limited English, which prevents them from obtaining comparative jobs in the fields they left behind on the island but, with taxes and the cost of living going up and jobs disappearing there as a result of the ongoing financial crisis, they see few alternatives to building a new life on the mainland.

Martinez is one of those recent arrivals: apologetic about his accented but near-perfect English, he explained that he moved to Orlando in mid-April. Though he was a real estate broker on the island, his license didnt transfer, so hes working in construction temporarily. I had a good job down there, he said over traditional Puerto Rican food at Lechonera el Jibarito #2, but when I was seeing what was going on, I decided, Im going to jump the hoop and see what happens.

Julie Torres, 32 (from left), Tania Irizarry, 39, Jose Martinez, 35, and Orlando Rodrguez, 41. Photograph: Bastien Inzaurralde for the Guardian

Rodrguez and elementary school teacher Tania Irizarry, 39, moved to Orlando 10 months ago with their five-year-old son for similar reasons though the financial crisis was, for them, just the final frustration with a political system rigged against most of the residents.

The ordinary people have to bear the brunt of the situation, Rodrguez said. They have to put up with bad health and education services and with crime. Job prospects arent good. Crime levels are through the roof.

But, it doesnt matter [to the politicians] what state our education or health services are in, he added. Theyll fall over themselves trying to win the election and run the colony because theres money in it that theyre going to earn; theyll share it out amongst themselves and theyll be fine. Everyone else can go to hell.

Irizarry, who was able to transfer her teachers license from the island and now works as an assistant teacher, says that the educational system and the lack of access to information holds back many of the people on the island. Everything has to do with the political system and with colonialism, because youre only taught one part: the part thats in the interest of whoever wants to keep control of the country, she said in Spanish, though she is fully fluent in English.

Torres, who wasborn in the Bronx of Puerto Rican extraction, moved to the city from Illinois as part of her doctoral research into Puerto Rican migration patterns.

Like Irizarry, she sees the echoes of American colonialism in both the economic crisis and the lack of access to services like education that most Americans all but consider their birthright. I think that we do need to recognize just how the deeply rooted history of colonialism on the island has impacted Puerto Rico and the economy and all these different facets, she said.

Esteban Garcs, 35, doesnt want ignorance to be a problem for the Puerto Ricans moving to central Florida. Born in Washington, DC to a Bolivian immigrant, he is also a recent transplant to Orlando, where he works as an organizer with Mi Familia Vota, helping educate Latinos about their rights and getting them to the polls. But after stints in DC and Boston, Massachusetts, where immigration issues are paramount, he says that large Puerto Rican population in and around Orlando isnt as focused on immigration: like Rodrguez, Irizarry and Martinez, theyre very focused on what Congress is or is not doing to end the financial crisis on the island.

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