May 16, 2013
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.
April 30, 2013
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%.
April 29, 2013
The 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.
April 17, 2013
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
April 8, 2013
Migration 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.
March 14, 2013
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.
March 12, 2013
With 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.”
March 8, 2013
By 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…
February 22, 2013
Next Thursday, February 28, 2013
The economic future of the Midwest rests in part on US immigration policy. The twin realities of a struggling industrial base and population decline demand a rethinking of how the country and region attracts and retains human capital. Join cochairs and members of The Chicago Council’s independent task force on US Economic Competitiveness at Risk: A Midwest Call to Action on Immigration Reform, as they release their report, 12 months in the making. This report release event will introduce attendees to immigration initiatives being undertaken throughout the Midwest to promote the region’s economic competitiveness.
February 15, 2013
In Sight Crime, 2/13/2013
The following is an excerpt from Steven Dudley’s latest report for In Sight Crime: Organized Crime in the Americas, titled Juarez After the War.
For many crime watchers, the fighting in Juarez that cost nearly 10,000 people their lives over a four year stretch was a battle of the titans: the Juarez Cartel versus the Sinaloa Cartel. But beneath that analysis is the deeper question of who pushes the levers of power in Mexico.
The question is even more complicated in Juarez, a border city where several layers of power brokers are still seeking to impose their will on one another and control this lucrative plaza. These include large criminal groups, local and federal police, the army, the state Attorney General’s Office, politicians, and street gangs.
Read full report here…