Mexicans for the first time may no longer make up a majority of the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population.

4/28/2017 Pew Research Center

m_45_55b16577df10e.jpgAs Mexican share declined, U.S. unauthorized immigrant population fell in 2015 below recession level

There were 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2015 – a small but statistically significant decline from 2009. In addition, Mexicans for the first time may no longer make up a majority of the unauthorized immigrant population. Plus, read our updated five facts about unauthorized immigration in the U.S.

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Economists upgrade Mexico growth prospects despite Nafta furor

4/27/2018 Financial Times

Arrow Graph by Flickr user nDevilTV strange has started happening in Mexico: upward revisions in growth forecasts despite worries over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which escalated this week on fears that President Donald Trump was laying the groundwork for the US to quit the pact.

Until recently, talk among economists in Mexico had concerned possible recession. Just last month, the central bank further reduced its growth estimates, the fifth such cut in a year, while the finance ministry lowered its outlook, both to between 1.3-2.3 per cent.

But economists at Santander, JPMorgan, BBVA Bancomer and Citibanamex have all in the past few weeks moved to increase economic growth predictions by at least half a point, and as much as 0.7 point in the case of JPMorgan. In part this reflects the more conciliatory noises coming out of Washington on Nafta, including from Mr Trump’s commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, which has helped the peso erase its significant post-US election losses.

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Mexico Senate OKs disappearance law, calls for search system

4/27/2017 The Washington Post

Flickr/Sofía Cruz

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Senate approved a legislation Thursday that would impose long prison sentences for forced disappearances and calls for a national system for searching for missing persons.

The measure passed on 90-3 vote, with three abstentions, and now goes to the lower house for consideration.

Disappearance refers to abductions in which the victims are not found, an issue that has surged to the forefront in Mexico amid a bloody drug conflict and searches by families for missing loved ones. The government’s human rights agency says 32,236 people have gone missing across the country over the past two decades.

Kidnapping is already illegal in Mexico. But the legislation defines disappearance as a continuing crime, for which there is no statute of limitations. It would set prison terms of 40 to 60 years for public servants and 25 to 50 years for other people who engage in the crime.

The measure also would establish a responsibility for the government to look for the disappeared, but the details of how such searches would be carried out must still be determined.

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Pena Nieto, Trudeau to remain in close contact over NAFTA: Mexico

4/27/2017 Reuters

Flickr/Presidencia de la República Mexicana

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on Thursday about the NAFTA trade deal and agreed there was an opportunity to update the accord to the mutual benefit of all signatories, the Mexican government said.

In a statement, Pena Nieto’s office said he and Trudeau had spoken on Thursday afternoon and were ready to begin the process of dialogue between Mexico, Canada and the United States, the members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“Finally, they agreed to remain in close contact to ensure the process of (NAFTA) modernization is successful for the benefit of both nations,” Pena Nieto’s office said.

U.S. President Donald Trump rattled Mexico and Canada on Wednesday when his administration said he had been considering an executive order to withdraw from NAFTA. On Thursday, Trump said that he aimed to renegotiate the deal with the two.

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Southcom Official: ‘Friendly Network’ Critical in Confronting Transregional Threats

4/28/2017 U.S. Department of Defense

Flickr/Júbilo Haku

COZUMEL, Mexico, April 27, 2017 — “It takes a network to defeat a network,” a U.S. Southern Command official stressed as representatives of 14 nations gathered here to address ways to confront the transnational security threats in Central America.

Even though the April 24-25 Central America Security Conference was a military-hosted event, the security threats transcend the defense realm and require a whole-of-government approach, Army Col. Barbara Fick, chief of Southcom’s political-military affairs division, J5, said in an interview with DoD News.

“With most of the challenges — be they security, even humanitarian issues or disasters — you need a network,” she explained. “It needs to be across borders and across institutions. It has to be transnational. It has to be interagency. The ‘friendly network’ is critical for all of the challenges.”

Fick described CENTSEC 2017, which was hosted by the United States and Mexico, as an “executive-level discussion” to foster dialogue, strengthen cooperation among the allies and promote an interagency approach within and among the partner nations.

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Fact Check: The Trump Administration’s Argument for a Border Wall

4/27/2017 New York Times

border patrolWASHINGTON — As a Friday night deadline approaches to prevent a government shutdown, one hot-button spending issue is a down payment to build a wall on the southern border, one of President Trump’s signature national security goals.

Mr. Trump appeared to soften his demand late on Monday, saying he would settle for additional funds for border security. But then on Tuesday, he insisted again, “The wall’s going to get built, folks.”

In the run-up to this divisive debate, John Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, has escalated his rhetoric about threats facing the United States.

“The risk is as threatening today as it was that September morning almost 16 years ago,” Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, said in a speech last week at George Washington University. Mr. Kelly suggested that undocumented immigrants may not be the only threat coming across the border with Mexico, pointing to the possibility of terrorists using the same smuggling routes to infiltrate the United States.

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Only Captivity Will Save the Vaquita, Experts Say

4/27/2017 New York Times

Flip Nicklin/Minden Pictures


TIJUANA, Mexico — It was not the first time Robert L. Brownell Jr. had seen a dead vaquita, the rare and endangered porpoise that was lying on the stainless-steel necropsy table inside the Tijuana Zoo on Monday. But it might well be one of the last.

Mr. Brownell, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, had in effect discovered the porpoise, finding the first full, dead specimen in 1966. The world’s smallest member of the cetacean grouping, which includes whales and dolphins, the vaquita was the most recent cetacean to be recognized by modern science.

Now it may well become the latest to go extinct.

A high-level, bilateral panel of Mexican and American scientists met this week and is expected to announce that it believes efforts to save the animal have, essentially, failed. That announcement would mean that the only hope for the vaquita’s recovery would be to capture the surviving animals, if any can be found. Some of the scientists involved think the surviving vaquitas now number as few as two or three, and the latest two vaquitas found dead could even be the last ones — though it could take years to confirm that.

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