National Guard troops arrive at Texas border with Mexico

August 18, 2014

08/16/14 RT

shutterstock_24590917Texas National Guard troops have started staking out positions along the state’s border with Mexico, as Governor Rick Perry aims to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

“Several dozen” troopers were deployed in the Rio Grande Valley on Thursday, and multiple officers were seen at observation towers in the area, according to the Associated Press. Under Perry’s orders, up to 1,000 troops total may be deployed along the border between Texas and Mexico, although the current deployment is not yet part of the governor’s Operation Strong Safety.

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First Wave Of National Guard Troops Arrives At Texas-Mexico Border

August 15, 2014

08/14/14 Huffington Post 

El Paso, TexasThe first wave of National Guard troops has taken up observation posts along the Texas-Mexico border.

Texas National Guard Master Sgt. Ken Walker of the Joint Counterdrug Task Force says “several dozen” soldiers deployed in the Rio Grande Valley are part of the up to 1,000 troops called up by Gov. Rick Perry last month.

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Rick Perry thinks Mexico may have just solved America’s immigration problem

February 24, 2014

IMG_4496The Washington Post, 2/22/14

If, a handful of years into the future, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has fallen sharply or zeroed out, the president will deserve all the credit. Mexico’s president, that is.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, no stranger to the tough debate over the nation’s immigration laws, thinks recent legislation passed by Mexico’s Congress, a major priority of President Enrique Pena Nieto, may have set in motion a reversal of the flow of undocumented immigrants northward. In a short time, Perry said in an interview Saturday, undocumented immigrants may be streaming back over the U.S.-Mexico border, headed for lucrative energy sector jobs back home.

“The landscape on immigration is fast changing,” Perry said. “My instinct is that immigration and immigration reform are going to be substantially less of a flashpoint than they have been in the last several years.”

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Energy Reform Approved, Border Infrastructure Spending, and Biden “Guarantees” Immigration Reform – Weekly News Summary: December 13

December 13, 2013

coffee-by-flikr-user-samrevel1The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English language press had to say…

This week’s news outlets centered in the Energy Reform approved by both the Mexican Senate and Chamber of Deputies. As expected, the law includes measures to open the oil and gas industry to private and foreign investment, through cash, profit-sharing and production contracts. What is new however, as a Forbes article explains, is the legal entity of the “license”. Although the legislation still explicitly prohibits the use of concessions in the hydrocarbons sector, the license will act in a very similar way, with the idea that it will be applied to unconventional projects like shale. The Economist noted that, as a consequence of the Reform, financial markets reacted with a burst of enthusiasm absent for most of the year, although it also claimed that the potential benefit from the reform will depend on the strength of secondary legislation that will specify what contracts will be offered for which type of oil or gas field, and what royalties and taxes the government will take. Finally, The Global Post noted that there were still political hurdles to overcome and that it will take a while before Mexico finally sees the investments and technology it needs to improve capacity and modernize Pemex.

On another topic, several news outlets highlighted stories concerning border issues. KPBS noted that U.S. and Mexico officials joined together on Tuesday in San Diego to signal construction crews to begin work on a $700 million border infrastructure project. The goal of the new freeway, and eventually a new port of entry, is to increase the $54 billion worth of goods that move across the Tijuana – San Diego Region by cutting border wait times that exceed two hours. The New York Times published a story describing how, even when agents do their jobs professionally and well, current immigration policy fosters insanity and menace in the Southern Border. It argues that when migrants have no hope of visas, the Border Patrol’s job is made harder while the drug lords get richer. On another note,  the San Diego Union Tribune published a piece stating that the unprecedented spending of the U.S. government on border security has led to a nearly nonstop stream of reports, audits and studies criticizing how some of that money has been spent. Customs and Border Protection has acknowledged errors but also insists the unprecedented boost in spending has made the border far more secure.

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Power to Mexico

December 11, 2013

Houston Chronicle, 12/10/2013

rick perrySpeaking to the annual conference of the Republican Governors Association, meeting in Arizona recently, Gov. Rick Perry was unrealistically optimistic when he predicted that this nation’s grinding debate over immigration reform is likely to end in the not-too-distant future, thanks to Mexico’s economic advances. Comprehensive immigration reform is much more complicated than that, and yet there’s a kernel of truth in the governor’s observations.

Perry spoke specifically of the effort by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to reform his country’s energy laws to lure greater investment from outside oil and gas companies. The end result would be not only increased energy production but also more jobs for Mexicans.

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Texas Medicaid Debate Complicated By Politics And Poverty

May 21, 2013

latino-healthNPR, 5/21/2013

When the sun rises over the Rio Grande Valley, the cries of the urracas — blackbirds — perched on the tops of palm trees swell to a noisy, unavoidable cacophony. That is also the strategy, it could be said, that local officials, health care providers and frustrated valley residents are trying to use to persuade Gov. Rick Perry and state Republican lawmakers to set aside their opposition and expand Medicaid, a key provision of the federal health law.

The Rio Grande Valley has a load of troubles: high unemployment, low-paying jobs, warring Mexican cartels, a meager tax base and legions of people without health insurance. While many of those woes seem incurable, expanding Medicaid to the region’s uninsured is, to , who runs several local health clinics, a no-brainer. “I think if we’re not ready, if Texas doesn’t buy in in the next three months, shame on us,” she says.

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Romney’s Lawn Care History and the Fight Over Immigration

October 18, 2011

New York Times, 10/18/11

Rick Perry’s most pointed attack against Mitt Romney in Tuesday night’s debate concerned an immigration matter that came to light when Mr. Romney was campaigning for president four years ago.

“You hired illegals in your home,” said Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, “and you knew for — about it for a year.” For Mr. Romney to say he was tough on illegal immigration was “the height of hypocrisy,” Mr. Perry said. While it is not clear that Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, ever knew directly that his landscaping company was using illegal immigrants to tend his lawn, the episode was embarrassing for him in 2007 when it happened, and it is awkward now.

The Boston Globe first reported in December 2006 that Mr. Romney was employing a lawn care company that regularly hired illegal immigrants.

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US troops aid Mexico in drug war

October 6, 2011

Global Post, 10/6/11

When a young corporal in the Mexican marines was ambushed by drug cartel gunmen in the state of Tamaulipas, his first thoughts were for his pregnant wife and unborn child.But within a split second, he was focused on combat, as his unit took defensive positions around their convoy to return fire.

They managed to shoot dead four attackers while only suffering two injuries.The victory — one of many by Mexico’s marines — was helped largely by U.S.-supplied equipment and training with the U.S. Northern Command in Colorado.

“We have learned from American officers who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said the corporal, who asked that his name not be used as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

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Perry’s suggestion to send U.S. troops south riles Mexican officials

October 4, 2011

CNN, 10/4/11

Arturo Sarukhan

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s suggestion that the United States may send troops to fight Mexican drug cartels riled officials and spurred debate from analysts on both sides of the border Monday.

Mexico’s top representative in the United States rejected the idea, which the Republican presidential candidate mentioned at a New Hampshire campaign stop Saturday.

Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan told reporters his country’s longstanding opposition to the presence of American forces had not changed.

“It may be well-intentioned, but it has the potential of really undermining cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico,” said Eric L. Olson, who studies security relationships between the neighboring countries at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

“If there’s a perception in Mexico that this is all designed somehow as a backdoor entry into Mexico by the U.S., if there’s a perception that this is leading to the United States’ direct intervention into Mexico, it puts at risk all those cooperative efforts,” Olson said.

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For the SPANISH version of this story, click here.

Perry’s Remarks on Mexico Are Praised, Dismissed

October 4, 2011

The Texas Tribune, 10/4/11

Was it the latest in a string of campaign-trail mistakes, the gaffe of an inexperienced candidate outside the friendly confines of Texas, or a legitimate conversation starter for an issue now too large to ignore?

Gov. Rick Perry’s suggestion over the weekend that he might be in favor of sending the U.S. military into Mexico to help that country quell cartel-related violence elicited a variety of reactions, from outright dismissal to praise that Perry had brought the issue to the forefront of the presidential campaign.

Perry, still fighting accusations that he is soft on illegal immigration because he signed a 2001 bill to provide in-state tuition rates to some college students in the state illegally, told a crowd in New Hampshire he would be open to sending the military to America’s neighbor and third-largest trading partner.

While the governor also said that any action would have to be agreed to by the Mexicans, advocating possible U.S. military intervention would go well beyond the current agreement — called the Mérida Initiative — that provides for equipment, training and intelligence sharing between the U.S., Mexico and Central American governments, says Eric Olson, a senior adviser at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

“I think given the broader, stark context and sensitivities to U.S. intervention, these kinds of statements can create fear and misunderstanding and anger,” he says. “Mexico is in the middle of a presidential campaign, and that kind of collaboration [under Mérida] could falter and be stopped.”

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