Fighting the Wrong War at the U.S. Border

July 22, 2015

7/22/15 Bloomberg View

immigrant mother and boyThe nature of migration in the Americas is changing. Yet U.S. immigration policy, and its $18-billion-a-year cost, is not.

In 2014, for the first time in history, more non-Mexicans than Mexicans were apprehended as they crossed the U.S. southern border. U.S. authorities were wholly unprepared for last summer’s wave of mothers and children who surrendered to authorities after perilous journeys north from Central America. Border Patrol agents trained to capture young men darting through the night aren’t up to the demanding job of babysitting toddlers.

What’s needed now is an expanded legal system to adjudicate these new migrants’ pleas for asylum — and a wholesale rethinking of how resources are deployed.

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Immigration Reform 2015: Illegal Mexican Border Crossings Down Nationwide, Study Finds

July 22, 2015

7/22/15 International Business Times

Migrant farmworkersAs election season ramps up with immigration reform a hot topic, recent data from the Pew Research Center showed that the number of people from Mexico caught attempting to cross the border illegally to the United States was dropping nationwide. The number of apprehensions was typically a good barometer of the total number of people coming to the U.S.

Last year was the first on record in which there were more non-Mexicans apprehended at the border than Mexicans. In the fiscal year 2014, Pew reported that 229,178 Mexicans were arrested at the border, down from a peak of about 1.6 million in 2000. “The decline in apprehensions reflects the decrease in number of unauthorized Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S.,” the report stated.

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Facing the Facts on Illegal Immigration

July 21, 2015

7/19/15 New York Times

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006Donald Trump is entitled to his own opinions, not his own facts, to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Mr. Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, gets a lot wrong in his comments about immigration and Mexico. There is no evidence that Mexican officials are dispatching criminals across a porous border, and immigrants don’t commit more crimes, studies show.

Yet even some of his critics give him credit for tapping into something real: what they see as the perils of President Obama’s lax approach to immigration, generally, and enforcement along the Mexican border in particular.

“We need to secure the border,” says Carly Fiorina, another presidential contender. This, too, is misleading.

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Immigration Reform 2015: Tijuana, Mexico Border Security To Be Tightened Over Pedestrian Foot Traffic

July 21, 2015

7/20/15 International Business Times

border_at_tijuana-tomas-castelazo2Mexican immigration officials will be stepping up their inspections of foreigners entering the country on foot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. A new building for Mexican immigration and customs inspection stations is scheduled to open at the Tijuana pedestrian entry in September.

Officials are expected to require foreigners entering Tijuana from San Ysidro, California, to show travel documentation if entering Mexico by foot. Authorities plan to create two pedestrian lanes for those entering Mexico: one for foreigners and one for Mexican citizens.

“Our intention is not to create congestion at the border,” said Rodulfo Figueroa, head of Mexico’s National Migrant Institute in the Mexican state of Baja California, the Union-Tribune reported. “Our intention is to try different strategies to process as many people as we can within a reasonable time frame.”

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July 21, 2015

7/16/15 Houston Press

Baby feet by Flikr user sabianmaggyState officials have refused to give an untold number of Texas-born children birth certificates due to their parents’ immigration status, according to a lawsuit that was filed earlier this year.

More than a dozen undocumented women have sued the Department of State Health Services, saying workers at vital statistics offices in the Rio Grande Valley refused to give them birth certificates because of insufficient records proving their identity. Many of the women had used the same documents – a so-called matricula issued by their consulate or a foreign passport without a current U.S. visa – to obtain birth certificates for other children born in Texas as recently as 2012.

The lawsuit, which was reported by the Texas Observer earlier this week, claims these children are being discriminated against because of a parent’s tenuous immigration status. Without official proof of the parent-child relationship, the children have been unable to enroll in school, have had difficulty obtaining medical care and other benefits they should be eligible to receive as U.S. citizens.

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Mexico to step up pedestrian border inspections

July 20, 2015

07/20/15 San Diego Union-Tribune

— Mexican immigration officials are preparing to ramp up inspections of U.S. citizens and other foreigners entering the country on foot, requiring those crossing from San Ysidro to show travel documents such as a U.S. passport or passport card.  The head of Mexico’s National Migration Institute in Baja California, Rodulfo Figueroa, said that the new push will begin by September with the expected opening of a new building housing Mexican immigration and customs inspections stations at the Tijuana pedestrian entry. Figueroa said that the measures will be enforced gradually, and inspectors will be sensitive to the flow of people entering the country.  “We will do everything we can to make the transition as seamless as possible,” Figueroa said. “People should not be panicking about this. We’re not going to create a four-hour southbound wait.

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Most US-Mexico Border Smugglers Are U.S. Citizens, Paper Finds

July 20, 2015

07/20/15 Huffington Post

human trafficking by Flikr user Brett JordanPITTSBURGH (AP) — The smuggling of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border relies heavily on American labor, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review found in an eight-month investigation that paints a portrait of the network of smugglers known as “coyotes.”

Three out of every five convicted smugglers are U.S. citizens, according to an analysis by the newspaper of 3,254 federal trafficking convictions during 2013 and 2014 in federal courts in the southern stretches of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

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