April 15, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 4/13/13
On a Wednesday morning in February, a bicyclist pedaling past a crossroads spotted something in the tall weeds that has become common here: a dead body. The dead man was flat on his back, his hands hard by his sides and his face blank. Law-enforcement officials speculate he was an illegal immigrant from Central America left behind by human smugglers. They still don’t know his name.
Authorities found the corpses of 129 suspected illegal immigrants last year here in Brooks County, a desolate region of cactus-covered ranch lands an hour north of the Mexican border and 2½ hours south of San Antonio. The death toll—twice as high as in 2011—is on pace to be even higher this year, according to county officials. Nineteen bodies have been discovered so far, even before triple-digit summer temperatures sear in South Texas, raising the danger of the arduous crossings through Brooks County’s 944 square miles.
April 13, 2013
My San Antonio, 4/11/13
With little fanfare but much local anticipation, the international crossing at Big Bend National Park was reopened Wednesday — almost 11 years after being shut down as a post-9/11 security measure. With many Boquillas residents still doubtful after so many false rumors, a crowd of local men, some on horseback, gathered at the rocky riverbank and watched silently as the first group of Americans arrived shortly after 9 a.m.
Not waiting for the boat, a cluster of U.S. immigration officials rolled up their pants and waded the shallow Rio Grande for a final meeting on the riverbank with their Mexican counterparts on hours and days of operation, and other technical issues. “It’s a good day. We’ve waited a lot of years for this and now everyone can come over legally,” said Carry Huffman, the deputy chief patrol agent for the U.S. Border Patrol in the Big Bend Sector.
April 12, 2013
By Christopher Wilson, The Dallas Morning News, 4/11/13
As the senatorial Gang of Eight finalizes its immigration reform bill, it has become clear that border security will be a key, if contentious, part of any viable immigration proposal. In fact, it remains one of the few sticking points with the potential to derail the whole reform process. Yet despite having so much riding on improving border security, there is no clear definition of the term.
Statistics about drug smuggling, aspiring terrorists and unauthorized immigrants are naturally difficult to collect. In the absence of clear metrics to guide our border strategy and funding, we have given ever more resources to the Border Patrol, which operates in the areas between official border crossings. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the staffing, infrastructure and technology needs of ports of entry themselves, both leaving them less secure and undermining America’s economic competitiveness in the process.
April 11, 2013
The Washington Post, 4/10/13
Federal authorities would be required to establish vast new border fences and surveillance as part of a bipartisan Senate plan aimed at allowing the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants to earn permanent residency and, potentially, citizenship, aides familiar with the proposal said Wednesday.
The provisions would call on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to increase surveillance to cover 100 percent of the Southwestern border and to apprehend 90 percent of the people who attempt to enter the United States illegally, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose private negotiations.
April 11, 2013
La decisión de Barack Obama de aceptar la invitación que le hizo el presidente Enrique Peña Nieto plantea varias interrogantes. Ante todo, porque se prevé que poco después vendrá a la Cumbre de Líderes de América del Norte, acompañado por el primer ministro de Canadá, Stephen Harper. Considerando las crisis internacionales y las abultadas agendas de política interna y de política exterior que enfrenta al inicio de su segundo y último mandato, Obama seguramente pudo haber esperado unas semanas para reunirse por primera vez con Peña Nieto en su calidad de Presidente constitucional. La pregunta es: ¿por qué optó por adelantar el encuentro?
April 8, 2013
UT San Diego, 4/5/2013
Scholars from Tijuana and San Diego are key contributors to a new book that looks at the changing relationship between the United States and Mexico, examining issues such as immigration, trade, drug trafficking and water resources.
Among the recommendations of “Mexico and the United States: The Politics of Partnership,” are: increasing investment in infrastructure and education; promoting debate about whether to decriminalize marijuana possession; and collaborating on the management of aquifers beneath the U.S.-Mexico border.
April 5, 2013
America’s Borders North & South
Sunday, April 7th, 10:30 am (EST)
This week on Dialogue at the Wilson Center we present a discussion of America’s borders. We begin with a look northward. Our guest is the director of the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute David Biette. We also turn our sights south to the U.S.-Mexico border with Christopher Wilson, an associate with the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute.
Watch live stream here.
TV Broadcast: Washington, DC and national.
April 5, 2013
ABC Univision, 4/4/13
Future immigration from Mexico to the U.S. is unlikely to return to the high levels seen in the 1990s, according to a study released on Thursday by the Migration Policy Institute and the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Immigration from Mexico dried up during the years following the financial crisis in 2007. But even before the U.S. economy collapsed, the number of Mexicans heading north had already fallen considerably, a change partially due to the increased immigration enforcement that followed the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the report says.
April 3, 2013
The New York Times, 4/2/2013
As Congress considers a sweeping overhaul of immigration, many lawmakers say they are deeply concerned that providing a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States would mean only more illegal immigration. They blame the amnesty that President Ronald Reagan approved in 1986 for the human wave that followed, and they fear a repeat if Congress rewards lawbreakers and creates an incentive for more immigrants to sneak across the border.
But past experience and current trends in both Mexico and the United States suggest that legalization would not lead to a sudden flood of illegal immigration on the scale of what occurred after 1986. Long-running surveys of migrants from Mexico found that work, not the potential to gain legal status, was the main cause of increased border crossings in the 1990s and 2000s. And as Mr. Saldivar points out, times have changed. The American economy is no longer flush with jobs. The border is more secure than ever. And in Mexico the birthrate has fallen precipitously, while the people who left years ago have already sent their immediate relatives across, or started American families of their own.