UN Pushes for Migrants to Be Called Refugees

July 8, 2014

7/8/14 ABC News

hand over fenceUnited Nations officials are pushing for many of the Central Americans fleeing to the U.S. to be treated as refugees displaced by armed conflict, a designation meant to increase pressure on the United States and Mexico to accept tens of thousands of people currently ineligible for asylum.

Officials with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees say they hope to see a regional agreement on that status Thursday when migration and interior department representatives from the U.S., Mexico, and Central America meet in Nicaragua. The group will discuss updating a 30-year-old declaration regarding the obligations nations have to aid refugees.

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U.S. Protesters Turn Away Buses Carrying Migrant Families

July 2, 2014

7/2/14 ABC News

US flagHomeland Security buses carrying migrant children and families were rerouted Tuesday to a facility in San Diego after American flag-waving protesters blocked the group from reaching a suburban processing center.

The standoff in Murrieta came after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to complain to elected officials about the plan to transfer the Central American migrants to California to ease overcrowding of facilities along the Texas-Mexico border.

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Anti-immigration gang moves goalposts

February 3, 2014

factoryThe Washington Post, 2/3/14

The anti-immigration crowd, including a couple of prominent dead-tree conservative weeklies, have let the cat out of the bag. When the immigration reform bill was making its way through the Senate, the argument went, “We’re not opposed to any immigration bill, it’s just this one.” The triggers were too weak or the security measures couldn’t be verified. It was always something. Another variation was: “We favor immigration reform, but not a path to citizenship.” It seems they were not being candid or at the very least have moved the goalposts.

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Immigration Reform Bill 2013: Obama Says Piecemeal Is A Deal

November 20, 2013

President Barack Obama

International Business Times, 11/20/2013

U.S. President Barack Obama, who largely stayed on the sidelines as Congress attempted to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year, said on Tuesday that he’s open to the idea of House Republicans taking a piecemeal approach to passing the legislation.

Obama signaled his willingness to work with Republicans as high-ranking members of the House GOP insisted that they have a full plate for the remainder of the year and that a reform bill is dead in 2013.

Latin Migrants Shift Sights From U.S. to Neighbors

November 20, 2013

latin_americaThe Wall Street Journal, 11/19/2013

It sounds like the typical American dream for an immigrant: Each month, Marco Antonio Serna sends $500 to his parents, wife and 17-year-old daughter back in Colombia. Except Mr. Serna, 43 years old, didn’t migrate to the U.S. for work; he went to Chile, where he is employed at a small casino outside Santiago. “There’s a big community of Colombians here,” the former factory worker says.

In a noticeable and important shift in global migratory patterns, millions of migrant workers are no longer relying on the U.S. as heavily as they did for better-paying jobs that allowed them to send money home to families in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Instead, they have moved more to developing economies, creating a shift in money transfers out of countries like Chile, Brazil and Malaysia.

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Immigrants Closely Tied to Military Get Reprieve

November 18, 2013

Statue of Liberty HorizThe New York Times, 11/15/2013

The Obama administration issued a new policy on Friday that will allow immigrants in the United States illegally who are close relatives of active military troops and veterans to stay and move toward becoming permanent residents.

The long-awaited memorandum, coming after three years of deliberations by Department of Homeland Security officials, was an effort to untangle knots in immigration law that left many soldiers worried that their immigrant family members could be deported while they were deployed.

Mexico’s tomato-farm workers toil in ‘circle of poverty’

November 12, 2013

tomatoesThe Los Angeles Times, 11/11/2013

They sure do have tomatoes here in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Elongated red ones. Round green ones. Cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, grape tomatoes.Vast fields of tomatoes, lining the roads out of the Sinaloa capital of Culiacan, miles and miles of mesh tenting shielding the plants from the sun.

Last year, Sinaloa exported 950,000 tons of vegetables, mostly tomatoes and mostly to California and other parts of the United States, worth nearly $1 billion. Half the tomatoes eaten in the United States this time of year are from Sinaloa. The tomato is the symbol on the Sinaloa license plate.

But while a short list of landowners make millions, the planting, weeding, pruning and picking of the vegetables fall to armies of workers from Mexico’s poorest states — Oaxaca, Guerrero, Chiapas — who have little opportunity for schooling or other forms of legal employment.

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