New Release: Accountability in the States and Federal District Public Security Contribution Fund (FASP) (in Spanish)

August 8, 2013

survey opinion checklistJoint publication by Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (IMCO), A.C. & Causa en Común, A.C.

This joint study by the IMCO and Causa en Común, A.C. presents an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the accountability mechanisms governing the exercise of FASP resources. By making a systematic analysis of 10 Mexican states and 5 core topics, this study provides a good overview of the current state of FASP and its implementation.  Based on good practices and weaknesses identified, both institutions offer recommendations and alternatives to improve the performance of FASP.

To view the rest of the article read the PDF


Economy as Grand Guignol: The Postreform Era in Mexico

June 6, 2013

Mexican Flag XXLThe Mexico Institute is pleased to share with you William P. Glade’s chapter from the Oxford Handbook of Mexican Politics, edited by Advisory Board member Roderic Ai Camp.

Deeply rooted in decades of pervasive corruption, a legacy cost of immense significance for the national political and economic life of Mexico, trafficking in narcotics is now seemingly unstoppable as a major export industry, a position it has been approaching for the past two or three decades. 1 In the years since its inception, it has been nourished by a particularly lethal combination: the strength of U.S. demand for imported drugs, thanks to the limited effectiveness of programs to arrest addiction, and a counterfl ow of exports of arms from the United States to Mexico. Since at least the sweeping sociocultural changes of the 1960s in the United States, this is the fundamental set of supply and demand relationships that has propelled this Mexican growth industry forward. As the infamous Colombian narcotics processing and exporting sector was more or less eliminated as a major player in the past ten years or so, Mexican suppliers have found their position in the North American market enhanced and, concurrently, have taken firmer control of supply routes feeding into Mexico from Central America, the Caribbean, and countries to the south and of zones of Mexico producing the materials used in narcotics production.

Read more: Economy as Grand Guignol: The Postreform Era in Mexico


New Article: Rural development and migration in Mexico

May 16, 2013

Mercado

By Andrew Wainer

Development in Practice Journal, Volume 23, Issue 2, 2013

This article analyses one of the causes of migration in rural Mexico through the lens of US foreign assistance policy. US aid to Mexico – the largest migrant-sending country to the USA by far – does not sufficiently take into account the conditions of rural under-development and joblessness that encourage unauthorised migration to the USA. Instead US foreign assistance has been dominated by aid to Mexico’s security agencies. This article analyses how the link between rural underdevelopment and migration-pressures has not been successfully addressed by either the Mexican or US governments. The article also analyses an innovative development project that explicitly seeks to support campesinos with the goal of reducing unauthorised migration pressures in a traditional migrant-sending rural region of Mexico.

Read more…


PEW Study: U.S. Image Rebounds in Mexico

April 30, 2013

Arrow Graph by Flickr user nDevilTV http://www.flickr.com/photos/ndevil/3491395689/Pew Research Global Attitudes Project, 4/29/13

On the eve of President Barack Obama’s visit to Mexico, the United States is enjoying a resurgence of good will among the Mexican public, with a clear majority favorably inclined toward their northern neighbor and more now expressing confidence in Obama.

A national opinion survey of Mexico by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 4-17 among 1,000 adults, finds that roughly two-thirds (66%) of Mexicans have a favorable opinion of the U.S. – up from 56% a year ago and dramatically higher than it was following the passage of Arizona’s restrictive immigration law in 2010, when favorable Mexican attitudes toward the United States slipped to 44%.

Read more…


As President Obama Heads to Mexico, Americans Have Mixed Views of Neighbor Across the Border

April 29, 2013

flag waving 2The Chicago Council on Global Affairs & The Mexico Institute, 4/29/13

President Obama will visit Mexico on May 2, where he is expected to discuss ways to deepen US-Mexico economic relations and reinforce cultural and commercial ties between the two countries. While still plagued  by issues related to organized crime, today Mexico has one of the world’s fastest growing  economies, and it is the United States’ second largest trading partner and third largest source of oil.

But a just-completed survey (April 12-14) conducted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows that American views of Mexico are at their lowest point ever in Chicago Council  surveys  and  relatively  few  are  aware  of  the  depth of bilateral   economic  integration.  At  the same  time, however, a majority still say that ties with Mexico are important and consider Mexico an economic partner rather than a rival. Taken together, the results suggest that increased public awareness of bilateral endeavors could boost support for increased economic and energy integration in the future.

Read more…


Document: Senate Gang of 8 Immigration Reform Bill (Full Text)

April 17, 2013

shutterstock_49320484Politico, 4/17/13

Senate negotiators released a 844-page bill late Tuesday that aims to make the most substantive changes to immigration laws in nearly three decades. The bipartisan Gang of Eight filed the legislation that would create a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrations, overhaul the legal immigration system and beef up border security.

The public roll-out was delayed because of the deadly blasts at the Boston Marathon, but the legislation is certain to spark an emotional debate that will dominate Washington for the remainder of the year. Authors of the the— dubbed The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 — say that it’s the “toughest border security and enforcement measures in U.S. History” in the legislation’s outline.


Issue Brief: Legal Immigration Policies For Low-Skilled Foreign Workers

April 8, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006Migration Policy Institute, April 2013

The current US legal immigration system includes few visas for low-skilled workers, and employers have relied heavily on an unauthorized workforce in many low-skilled occupations. The issue of “future flow” of legal workers at the low-skilled level — its size, wage and labor protections, and conditions for temporary or permanent residency has been a major point of debate as bipartisan Senate and House groups craft separate immigration reform proposals. In particular, it has been the focus of lengthy talks between labor unions and the US Chamber of Commerce, resulting initially in a shared statement of principles and later an accord for a new visa category (named the W visa). This issue brief explains the questions that policymakers must grapple with when designing programs for admission of low-skill workers, for temporary as well as permanent entry. It focuses on visas for nonagricultural work; agricultural employment is the subject of a separate issue brief.
Read the issue brief here…

HEARING: Border Security: Measuring the Progress and Addressing the Challenges

March 14, 2013
Shirk

Shirk

Former Wilson Center Fellow and Mexico Institute colleague David Shirk testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on border security issues.  The hearing, titled “Border Security: Measuring the Progress and Addressing the Challenges,” took place on Thursday, March 14, 2013 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Click HERE to watch a video of his testimony.


Report: Trusted Traveler Programs between the U.S., Canada and Mexico

March 12, 2013

120px-Tijuana-San_Diego_borderWith the support of the Department of Homeland Security, Clare Gallaher and Alexandra Kuschner, both international affairs M.A. students from American University, recently undertook an analysis of U.S. trusted traveler and trusted trader programs. As the debate over immigration reform has brought renewed attention to the issues of border security and border management, the importance of these trusted programs is hard to overstate. On a dollar per dollar basis, investments in expanding the use of trusted traveler and trader programs are likely the cheapest way to make our borders both more secure and more efficient, making an understanding of both their potential and limitations increasingly important. To download a copy of the report, click here: “Is FAST Fast and Other Questions: An Examination of the Trusted Traveler and Trusted Trader Programs Between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.”

 


Report: Focused Deterrence, Selective Targeting, Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime: Concepts and Practicalities

March 8, 2013

crime and drugsBy Vanda Felbab-Brown, International Drug Policy Consortium, February 2013

In “Focused Deterrence, Selective Targeting, Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime: Concepts and Practicalities,” published by the International Drug Policy Consortium in February 2013, Vanda Felbab-Brown first outlines the logic and problems of zero-tolerance and undifferentiated targeting in law enforcement policies. Second, she lays out the key theoretical concepts of the law-enforcement strategies of focused-deterrence and selective targeting and reviews some of their applications, as in Operation Ceasefire in Boston in the 1990s and urban-policing operations in Rio de Janeiro during the 2000s decade. Third, she analyses the implementation challenges that selective targeting and focused-deterrence strategies have encountered, particularly outside of the United States. And finally, she discusses some key dilemmas in designing selective targeting and focused-deterrence strategies to fight crime.

Read the full report here…


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