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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Mexican colleges look to expand in U.S. to serve immigrants

November 8, 2013

Miami Herald, 11/4/2013

students-workingIn an ethnically themed shopping center called Plaza Mexico just south of Los Angeles, a public university from the Mexican state of Colima has planted its flag.

Alongside the shopping center’s stores and taquerias, the University of Colima offers mostly remedial education in reading, writing and math to about 100 Mexican immigrants. But a handful of students here are preparing to take their final exams for Mexican degrees, just one of several recent efforts by Mexican universities to branch into providing full-fledged university educations in the United States.

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Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/04/3731769/mexican-colleges-look-to-expand.html#storylink=cpy

Mexico Rescues 73 Suspected Kidnap Victims Near U.S. Border

October 1, 2013

marijuana bustThe New York Times,9/30/2013

Seventy-three suspected kidnap victims were rescued in northern Mexico near the border city of Reynosa after police followed their alleged captors to a house and heard frantic calls for help, authorities said on Monday.

Of the victims, 37 were Mexicans, 19 were from Honduras, 14 from Guatemala and another three from El Salvador, federal police said in a statement. Among the victims were women and minors, some of whom reported having been sexually abused.

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After return to Mexico, she fights crime, runs afoul of law

September 26, 2013

prisonThe Los Angeles Times, 9/25/2013

Nestoria Salgado led a town rebellion against crooks in Guerrero state, only to land in federal prison after making an arrest that some say overstepped boundaries.

Today, Salgado sits in a Mexican penitentiary, far from her home and her people, accused of kidnapping and guilty, certainly, of having run afoul of a clash of cultures, politics and generations-old clan rivalries.

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Mexico’s New Arrivals Mix Praise and Criticism

September 24, 2013

Mexico CityThe New York Times, 9/23/2013

Can Mexico ever ascend to its proper place in the world economy without tackling corruption and crime head on? When will the country, with its rising potential, stop being held down by weak government?

Those are some of the tough questions raised by readers responding to an article published in The New York Times on Sunday about the growing number of immigrants from around the world who have resettled Mexico in recent years, viewing it as a land of emerging opportunity. Many foreigners who have lived in the country for years stressed that while they wished the world would focus more on Mexico’s strengths, they also wished the country would do more to tackle its flaws – especially corruption and a justice system that does little or nothing.

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The Other Mexicans: Indigenous people come from a world apart from Spanish-speaking Mexicans

June 25, 2013

shutterstock_20487302National Geographic, 6/24/2013

Villegas spent two years working in the grape fields where his older siblings still toil. Now he is a community worker at the Fresno headquarters of the Binational Center for the Development of Oaxacan Indigenous Communities, a nonprofit that focuses on the specific needs of indigenous Mexicans who have migrated to California. Across the United States these indigenous migrants are isolated even more than other immigrant groups. They speak neither English nor Spanish and are often looked down on by Spanish-speaking Mexicans.

They may not be the Spanish-speaking migrants that politicians picture when they discuss immigration reform, but as their numbers increase and trilingual members like Miguel organize, they have their own stake in the fractious debate in Washington. A possible language requirement would be particularly difficult for indigenous communities. Without Spanish, their road to English fluency will be that much harder. Their own languages are not traditionally written languages. Many have not had formal schooling.

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