Los Tigres provide soundtrack for immigrants’ lives

October 10, 2013

los tigres del norteThe Washington Post, 10/08/2013

The rally for immigration reform became a singalong Tuesday afternoon for thousands on the otherwise shutdown Mall. Los Tigres del Norte — the biggest, most beloved band that many English-speaking Americans have never heard of — were onstage, and almost everyone in the audience seemed to know every word.

Enraptured participation is typical fan behavior the world over, of course, but the explanation for the phenomenon at a Los Tigres show is a little special. Their lyrics are like news bulletins from the lives of immigrants. Some members of the San Jose-based band — whose name translates as “the Tigers of the North” — were once undocumented immigrants from Mexico.

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Washington immigration-reform rally seeks to press Congress

October 8, 2013

Adcocates rally for immigrant rights in Dallas

United Press International, 10/08/2013

A Washington rally Tuesday will urge Congress to pass a citizenship pathway for immigrants in the country without legal permission, organizers say.

The “Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform” rally is set to start at noon on the National Mall, even though the open-area national park is closed due to the federal government shutdown, a rally spokeswoman told The Washington Examiner.

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Ex-Mexico president praises Wash. pot businessmen

May 31, 2013

Vicente_Fox_2Associated Press, 5/30/2013

Washington state businessmen who say they’re trying to create the first national brand of marijuana received some heartfelt support Thursday from the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. Fox appeared at a news conference in Seattle, where he recounted how the war on drugs has ravaged his country and praised the states of Washington and Colorado for voting to legalize the recreational use of marijuana last fall.

At the news conference, former Microsoft manager Jamen Shively discussed his plans to launch a new marijuana brand named for his great-great grandfather, Diego Pellicer. He says his company is joining forces with a Washington state chain of medical marijuana dispensaries run by John Davis, the Northwest Patient Resource Center, as well as dispensaries in Colorado and California.

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Social Media’s Immigration March on Washington

May 23, 2013

shutterstock_77317735ABC News, 5/22/2013

The current march on Washington won’t fill the National Mall, or see an influx of buses down Constitution Avenue. But what it will do is clog your inbox. You can only see it on your computer, or mobile device, but it’s out there: a two- day virtual march on Washington with the goal of demanding immigration reform.

“We don’t see this as exclusive of a regular march,” Jeremy Robbins, director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, told ABC News. “It’s 2013 and the way we communicate is broader and different than it was a generation ago, and we want to be able to maximize all the ways we can to push Congress.” The event, which started today and goes until Thursday night, is organized by Mayor Bloomberg’s immigration forces in partnership with President Obama’s OFA (Organizing for Action) and asks viewers to send their senators emails, tweets and Facebook messages demanding immigration reform.

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A Drug War Informer in No Man’s Land

April 29, 2013

DEA badgeNew York Times, 4/29/2013

Mr. López played a leading role in what is widely considered the biggest drug-trafficking case in Mexican history. The episode — which inspired the 2000 movie “Traffic” — pitted the Mexican military against the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Throughout the 1990s, Mr. López worked closely with them both. He served as a senior adviser to the powerful general who was appointed Mexico’s drug czar. And he was an informant for the D.E.A.

His two worlds collided spectacularly in 1997, when Mexico arrested the general, Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, on charges of collaborating with drug traffickers. As Washington tried to make sense of the charges, both governments went looking for Mr. López. Mexico considered him a suspect in the case; the D.E.A. saw him as a potential gold mine of information.

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Secretary of State John Kerry and Mexican counterpart talk jobs, immigration reform

April 22, 2013

mexico-usa-flag-montageThe Washington Times, 4/19/13

Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Mexican counterpart touted the growing economic connection between Mexico and the U.S. on Friday, with Mr. Kerry saying that while the security relationship between the two nations remains vital, economic ties are ultimately more important.

“We don’t want to define this relationship with Mexico or with other countries in the context of security or … counternarcotics traffic,” Mr. Kerry told reporters at Foggy Bottom after meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade. “We want to define it much larger in the context of our citizens’ economic needs and our capacity to do more on the economic frontier.”

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Tens of thousands set to rally for immigration bill

April 10, 2013
Photo by Flickr user Seansie

Photo by Flickr user Seansie

USA Today, 4/10/13

Tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters are scheduled to rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers inside prepare to unveil the biggest immigration bill in a generation. The demonstration, dubbed the Rally for Citizenship, will feature speeches from immigration rights advocates, labor leaders, faith organizations and members of Congress working on immigration legislation. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous will deliver the keynote address.

The rally will coincide with marches, campaign-style door-knocking events and candlelight vigils in cities from Los Angeles to Orlando to Portland, Maine. Immigration bills have been filed and killed repeatedly since the last major bill, allowing up to 3 million illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens, became law in 1986. But organizers of Wednesday’s rally say the political stars are finally aligned for another one.

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HEARING: Border Security: Measuring the Progress and Addressing the Challenges

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.

Does Crime Drop When Immigrants Move In?

March 11, 2013

120px-A_day_without_immigrants_-_La_Raza_unida_jamás_será_vencidaNPR, 3/8/2013

As lawmakers in Washington continue to negotiate over immigration policies, they’ll have to grapple with a fundamental disagreement about the link between immigrants and crime.

Elected officials from Pennsylvania to Arizona have argued that undocumented immigrants contribute to higher crime rates, but some social scientists tell a different story. They argue that first-generation immigrants actually make their communities safer — and they point to some of the nation’s biggest cities as proof.

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Midwestern Business and Civic Leaders Call for Immigration Reform at DC Summit

February 28, 2013

immigration marchThe Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 2/28/2013

At an immigration summit in Washington today, a diverse and bipartisan group of Midwestern business and civic leaders will release a report urging immigration reform to ensure regional and national economic competitiveness. Former Midwest Governors Chet Culver and Michael Rounds as well as former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Crate and Barrel Co-Founder Carole Segal will discuss the report from a bipartisan task force convened by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Like the rest of America, the Midwest is frustrated with federal immigration policy, and states are coping as best they can,” said Michael Rounds, former governor of South Dakota, and task force co-chair. “But the region’s growing need for immigrant workers and its deepening appreciation of the talent and vitality they bring require Midwesterners to be active in demanding better answers from Washington.”

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