How America’s immigrant workforce is changing

5/26/2017 CNN Money

170522175603-immigration-stats-workforce-780x439.jpgAmerica’s workforce is changing.

Baby Boomers are retiring and U.S. birth rates are falling. With fewer native born workers coming into the job market, the country is becoming more reliant on immigrants than ever before to keep its labor force growing, according to the Pew Research Center.

Today, immigrants make up about 17% of the U.S. labor force — and nearly one-quarter of those immigrants are undocumented.
Without the current rate of both legal and undocumented immigration, Pew found that the total U.S. workforce would shrink dramatically over the next 20 years.

Not only would that have an impact on overall economic growth, but it would hurt certain industries that rely heavily on immigrant labor, too.

After the housing market collapsed, the construction industry lost many of its foreign born workers — many of whom moved back to Mexico and the Americas. Now, as construction ramps back up, home builders are having a difficult time staffing up.

Farmers are experiencing similar labor shortages, although many have said they’ve lost workers because of tougher enforcement of immigration laws that began during the Obama administration.

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I’m a reporter in Mexico. My life is in danger. The United States wouldn’t give me asylum.

5/25/2017 The Washington Post

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Flickr/Adrián Martínez

On Feb. 5, I walked into the United States from Mexico and turned myself over to immigration authorities for the purpose of seeking political asylum. But even though I have good reason to fear for my life, U.S. officials refused to let me stay. And now I’m in danger again.

I’m a journalist in Acapulco, Mexico. For almost a year, I have been receiving death threats from Mexican federal agents over articles I wrote in Novedades Acapulco, a newspaper there. In February 2016, I witnessed abuses by the Mexican military during a traffic accident. As a journalist, I began taking photographs. Federal agents arrived and began screaming at me. They took away my camera, my identification and my credentials and began hitting me as they told me to stop taking pictures and leave the area. I filed a complaint with the Mexican National Commission for Human Rights. Immediately afterward, I began receiving threats over the phone. A few weeks later, several men arrived at my home, pointed a gun at my forehead and told me to keep quiet. I moved to a different city, but the threatening messages and phone calls continued. Eventually, I moved across the country, hoping that these men would finally forget about me. Unfortunately, it did not take long for them to find me again. I realized that there was no place in Mexico where I could go without fearing I would be killed — the same way so many of my fellow journalists have been. Just this month, award-winning reporter Javier Valdez was killed in Sinaloa. He was the sixth journalist slain in Mexico this year.

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Arizona-Mexico Trade Comes in Education, Too

5/26/2017 Arizona Public Media

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Flickr/S. Friedberg

Jose Reyes Sanchez was driving through a farm about an hour outside of Mexico City as he listed the crops: pears, peaches and plums. Reyes, an engineering professor at the Autonomous University of Chapingo, then pointed to one of his favorite parts of the farm: a field of oats with a rotating 24-sprinkler irrigation machine dousing it with hundreds of gallons of water per minute.

“My students just took their final exam,” Reyes said. “And they had to get very wet because they had to measure the amount of water that each sprinkler emits.”

For years, Reyes has been taking undergraduate seniors on a field trip to California, Nevada and Arizona to learn more about water efficiency, with stops at companies such as the Tempe-based Salt River Project and the University of Arizona in Tucson.

And every year, one or two of Reyes’ students return to the University of Arizona to pursue graduate degrees from the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.

Last year, they were part of the 81 graduate students from Mexico who enrolled at Arizona colleges with support from a Mexican government-funded scholarship aimed at boosting the ranks of scientists in their country. (That’s out of a combined graduate student enrollment of more than 20,000 at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.)

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Billionaire Carlos Slim Eyeing Electric Taxis to Cut Pollution in Mexico City

5/26/2017 Fortune

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Flickr/Alvaro Sánchez

Giant Motors, an automaker partially owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is working on a prototype electric taxi to replace the gas-guzzling cabs polluting Mexico City’s air, a company executive said.

Giant has partnered with electric vehicle maker Moldex, a unit of Mexican breadmaker Grupo Bimbo, and four Mexican universities to produce the environmentally friendly car that will eventually replace part of Mexico City’s more than 130,000 registered cabs, said Elias Massri, chief executive of Giant Motors Latinoamerica.

“We’re developing the prototypes and hope to finish them this year to find a viable solution, an electric vehicle, that genuinely replaces gasoline-using cars,” Massri said in an interview.

A thick haze periodically descends on Mexico City, the Western Hemisphere’s largest megalopolis, irritating eyes and throats and prompting authorities to issue health warnings and force cars off the streets.

Air quality in Mexico City, home to an estimated 5.4 million vehicles, has been particularly poor in recent weeks.

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Mexico opposition targets governor’s race that would ‘prove president’s failure’

5/26/2017 The Guardian

obradorThe crowd cheers as a mariachi band belts out a song dedicated to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, leader of Mexico’s National Regeneration party (Morena), while he poses for selfies with jostling supporters in front of the stage.

The gathering feels more like a party – complete with cake, flowers and the faint smell of alcohol and marijuana – rather than a midsize political rally on the home turf of President Enrique Peña Nieto and one of the most powerful factions of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

The event is nominally in honour of Delfina Gómez, Morena’s candidate in the 4 June election for governor of the state of Mexico. But the race is one of the the country’s most important in political, economic and symbolic terms.

Which is why López Obrador – commonly known as AMLO – is the headline act on the campaign trail as his centre-left party bets on his firebrand charisma and popularity to rouse enough voters to pull off a historic victory and seal the fate of Peña Nieto’s disastrous presidency.

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Mexico arrests three Yemeni men sought by the United States

5/25/2017 Reuters

handcuffsThree men from Yemen, wanted by U.S. law enforcement, were arrested in Mexico City this week, at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a spokesman for Mexico’s National Security Commission said on Thursday.

The three men, who were in Mexico without proper migration documents, were still being held in Mexico City, the spokesman said. A U.S. law enforcement source in Mexico City said U.S. Marshals were involved in the detention of the men.

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Mexico Gets Its First Private Oil Well in 80 Years

5/23/2017 Bloomberg

oil wellFor the first time in almost 80 years, a private company has sunk a new offshore oil well in Mexican waters — the latest step in the country’s drive to allow foreign competitors back into its energy markets.

A joint venture of London-based Premier Oil Plc, Houston’s Talos Energy LLC and Mexico’s Sierra Oil & Gas began drilling the well May 21, Premier said in a statement Monday. It’s the first offshore exploration well to be launched by anyone other than state-run monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos since the country nationalized its oil industry in 1938.

The Zama-1 well, in the Sureste Basin off the state of Tabasco, holds an estimated 100 million to 500 million barrels of crude, Premier said in the statement. Drilling is expected to take up to 90 days to complete, at a cost to Premier of $16 million. The three companies won rights to the prospect in 2015, in the first round of bidding after Mexico voted to open its ailing oil industry to private investment.

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