Negative Attacks of Florida Primary Like a Family Feud, Connie Mack Says | NBC 6 South Florida
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) says children without legal representation are five times more likely to be deported. 

    “There should be a public defender system for children,” said Kristie-Ann Padrón, an attorney with Catholic Charities, a nonprofit that took Arlin and her brother’s case for free. “They are not legally competent to sign a contract. How could they be expected to represent themselves in court?”

    Padrón says, if deported, some of the children have nothing to go back to.

    “Some were suffering from gang violence’” she said.

    With the help of Catholic Charities, Arlin and her brother won their asylum case.

    Three years have passed, he’s an honors student in high school. Arlin has learned English and works as a supervisor at a movie theatre while she gets her degree.

    “I’m doing mechanical engineering and I want to work with the NASA,” Arlin said.

    The NBC6 Investigators spent time in immigration court. We spoke with several kids who were facing a Miami judge alone without representation. They told us in Spanish that they fear being deported back.

    Most immigration judges we saw in Miami tried to get unaccompanied minors help with non-profit attorneys but those organizations say there just isn’t enough free legal aid to meet the demand.

    They say they are always looking for attorneys willing to donate their services.

    " name="&lpos=navigation hover&lid=thousands of immigrant children face a judge without an attorney">Thousands of Immigrant Children Face a Judge Without an Attorney
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Negative Attacks of Florida Primary Like a Family Feud, Connie Mack Says
Mitt Romney was bolstered by especially staunch support in South Florida
BY Steve Litz

Mitt Romney won Florida’s Republican presidential primary by a strong 14-point margin over Newt Gingrich – bolstered by especially staunch support in South Florida.

In Miami-Dade County, former Massachusetts governor Romney carried 61 percent of the vote, compared to just 27 percent for Gingrich, the former House speaker. In Broward County, Romney received 50 percent of the vote versus Gingrich’s 30 percent.

Romney’s win was credited in part to his aggressive attacks against Gingrich on the airwaves. Congressman Connie Mack IV compares the negative attacks – which came from both sides, although Romney and his allies spent far more – to a family feud.

“This is a primary contest – it’s almost within the family and sometimes those can be the most difficult arguments to make,” said Mack, who is a Republican U.S. Senate candidate.

The Hispanic Vote in the Florida Primary

The Hispanic Vote in the Florida Primary

The Hispanic Vote in the Florida Primary

Romney did very well with Florida’s Hispanic voters, who made up 11.1 percent of the registered voters for the primary. Romney won the group by a wide margin – 54 percent to Gingrich’s 29 percent – despite his hard line on illegal immigration, an NBC News exit poll shows.

“The Hispanic community is saying loud and clear it’s an important issue. But what’s most important is the economy and job creation,” Mack said.

Gingrich beat Romney among very conservative and evangelical voters. In his speech in Orlando Tuesday night, he sought to position himself as “the conservative leader” in a shrinking GOP field.

Despite losing, he isn’t giving an inch. His message: there are 46 states to go.

“We are going to contest every place and we are going to win and we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August," Gingrich said.

But former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who finished third and fourth in Florida, are not giving up.

In Nevada Tuesday night, Santorum said that the mudslinging from Romney and Gingrich in Florida would not help Republicans win the election.

Meantime, Paul rallied his supporters from Henderson, Nevada.

"If enthusiasm wins elections, we win hands down,” he said.