US and Mexico’s mass deportations have fueled humanitarian crisis, report says

07/27/2016 The Guardian

deportation.jpgMass deportations and inadequate asylum procedures in Mexico and the US have fueled a humanitarian crisis where desperate Central Americans seeking refuge from rampant violence are routinely preyed upon by criminal gangs and corrupt officials, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

The tide of people fleeing Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – three of the five most dangerous countries in the world – continues apace despite beefed-up border control measures implemented after Barack Obama declared the 2014 surge in undocumented migrants a humanitarian crisis. Last year, Mexico deported 165,000 Central Americans, while the US expelled 75,000.

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07/27/16 JSTOR Daily 

800px-mexico_location_mapsvgImagine if the tables were turned, and Mexico was trying desperately to keep American immigrants out.

Picture this: A liberal immigration policy fails to assimilate newcomers. A giant slice of national territory is swamped by foreigners speaking a strange tongue and practicing a different religion. Meanwhile, an influx of desperate newcomers is crossing the Rio Grande seeking a new life.

The government: Mexico. The territory: Texas, transformed by Anglo-American newcomers. And the people crossing the Rio Grande: escaped slaves.

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Mexico & the United States: Let’s Build Prosperity & Security

By Earl Anthony Wayne and Sergio M. Alcocer

12642332434_f5a427c4ea_zPresident Obama will receive Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto July 22 in Washington.  This is a critical opportunity to highlight the importance of U.S.-Mexico ties, to underscore the substantial progress in cooperation, and to accentuate how the campaign rhetoric in the United States is out of tune with the reality of relations.  With the U.S. election approaching, it is crucial to take steps to preserve the unprecedented U.S.-Mexico collaboration that exists today.

U.S.-Mexico relations touch the daily lives of more citizens of both countries than do ties with any other country in the world.  Over 30 million U.S. citizens of Mexican heritage, our interconnected economies, the 1,990-mile border and our shared environment link us uniquely.  The two governments have established a comprehensive network of mechanisms that put bilateral relations in the best place they have been in memory.  Officials work together to take advantage of mutual opportunities and to solve shared problems across a wide spectrum of issues, with input from “stakeholders” in the relationship.

There is still a lot of serious work to do to address the problems out there and to take advantage of the opportunities of the region.   Each government has experienced professional ambassadors and teams in place to help guide the work during the U.S. leadership transition.  But, simplistic explanations of the problems or solutions distract us from the good work underway and the hard work still needed to deal with the serious challenges ahead.  As the United States prepares for a presidential transition, the two countries should solidify the mechanisms and engagements that are doing the hard, policy and technical work of enhancing both of our nations’ economic and national security.  These include the High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), the 21st Century Border process, the bilateral Security Coordination Group, and the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (FOBESSII).  The U.S.-Mexico relationship is too important for both countries not to continue this work.

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US and Mexico agree to improve asylum access for tens of thousands of refugees

07/12/16 The Guardian

us mex flagThe US and Mexico have agreed to improve access to asylum for the tens of thousands of Central Americans fleeing unbridled violence in their countries, and to explore alternatives to detention.

The commitments were laid out in a draft document circulated at the end of a two-day meeting last week on the plight of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Hosted by the UN refugee agency, the summit in Costa Rica sought to raise the profile of and seek improved responses to the Central American refugee crisis, and brought together NGOs, representatives from refugees’ countries of origin, as well as those from transit and asylum countries.

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Illegal trade thrives along Mexico-Guatemala border

06/30/16 MarketPlace  

Guate-MexborderIn 2012, a senior official in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declared that Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala was now essentially the southern border of the United States.

That was two years before the 2014 child migrant crisis that saw tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America crossing or attempting to cross into the U.S. from Mexico. Since then, the U.S. has expanded its own border enforcement efforts by assisting Mexico on its southern border. In 2015, fewer Central Americans reached the U.S., though the numbers vary from season to season.

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Human smugglers caught in Mexico in Uber cars

06/30/16 The Hill

Border - MexicoA group of human traffickers was apprehended in northern Mexico earlier this month smuggling Central American migrants north in cars registered with the Uber ride-hailing service.

Five cars were stopped June 10 at the border of the Mexican states Coahuila and Zacatecas carrying 34 undocumented migrants, Reuters reported. Of the five cars, four were registered with Uber.

Central American migrants traditionally use a freight train known as “La Bestia” — “The Beast” — to traverse Mexico, but authorities cracked down on the practice in 2015, partly because of U.S. pressure and because migrants on the rail line had become a magnet for organized crime.

Obama denounces ‘demagogues’ in immigration debate

06/29/2016 CNN

obamaWashington (CNN) President Barack Obama said Wednesday he believes the United States will continue to be a “nation of immigrants” despite attempts to exploit “anti-immigration sentiment” — a thinly-veiled swipe at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

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