Immigration Reform: Ted Cruz Wants More ‘Boots On The Ground’ To Secure US Border

June 11, 2015

6/10/15 International Business Times

Customs_and_Border_Protection_officersSen. Ted Cruz, a 2016 presidential hopeful, wants to shore up both the U.S. border and his credentials as an implacable foe of immigration reform. So the Texas Republican traveled to the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas on Tuesday to attend a border security briefing (and, later, a fundraiser). He criticized President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions and prescribed more “boots on the ground” to increase security, even while border patrol agent numbers have reached near-record highs.

“One hears from the ground that the security threats remain significant and that we need adequate manpower, adequate tools to secure our border and protect our nation,” Cruz said, speaking near a border patrol station. “The cartels have manpower along the Rio Grande river, they monitor what’s happening on a real-time basis, and the single best tool is boots on the ground.”

Read more…


Upcoming Conference! Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border

June 9, 2015

WHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 8:00am-4:15pm

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, the Border Trade Alliance, and the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos invite you to our second annual high-level “Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border” conference. Speakers will discuss the state of the art in border and transportation infrastructure, growth in the energy sector, border-region innovation, and the need for efforts that simultaneously support security and efficiency in border management.

There will be a live webcast of this event.

Agenda

8:00 – 8:30am Registration 

8:35 – 8:45am  Welcome, Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

8:45 – 9:35am   Legislative Opportunities to Strengthen Border Competitiveness
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23)
Senator Ernesto Ruffo Appel, Presidente de la Comisión de Asuntos Fronterizos Norte
Moderator: Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member and Former Mexican Ambassador to the United States

9:35 – 10:15am  Keynote, Senator John Cornyn (TX), Majority Whip, United States Senate
                         Introduction, Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President, Wilson Center

10:30 – 12:00pm  Building Tomorrow’s Border Today: The State of the Art in Infrastructure Financing, Customs, and Port of Entry Management
Geronimo Gutierrez, Director, North American Development Bank
Jesse Hereford, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance, Director of Business Development, S&B Infrastructure
Jose Martin Garcia, Representative for the Mexican Treasury and Tax Administration Service in Washington, DC
Moderator: Erik Lee, Executive Director, North American Research Partnership

12:00 – 12:25pm  Keynote, Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection (Confirmed)
     Introduction: TBA

12:25 – 1:30pm Lunch: Crossborder Cooperation for a Competitive North America
Opening Remarks: Michael Camuñez, President and CEO, ManattJones Global Strategies, Board Member, Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos
Keynote Address: Ildefonso Guajardo, Secretary of Economy (Invited)

1:30 – 2:15pm Energy Revolutions: How Natural Gas and Renewables are Changing the Border Energy Landscape
Omar Garcia, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable
Thomas Tunstall, Research Director, Institute for Economic Development, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Moderator and Comments on Renewable Energy: Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

2:15 – 2:35pm Break

2:35 – 3:25pm Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Building Ideas, Human Capital, and New Businesses in the Border Region
Rachel Poynter, Acting Director, Office of Mexican Affairs, Department of State
Ricardo Alvarez, Professor, CETYS University, Baja California
Rogelio de los Santos, Managing Director, Alta Ventures Mexico (Invited)
Moderator: Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

3:25 – 4:00pm A Conversation on the Evolution of U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Border Management
Ambassador Alejandro Estivill, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Mexico
Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Department of Homeland Security
Moderator: Denise Ducheny, Center for US-Mexico Studies, UC San Diego, and member, BECC NADB Board of Directors

4:00 – 4:15pm Concluding Remarks
Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos
Border Trade Alliance
Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

CLICK HERE TO RSVP


Immigration Reform News: The Border Surge Pushes Backlog of Pending Immigration Court Cases to 2019

June 8, 2015

6/6/15 Latin Post

Other side of ImmigrationThe backlog in immigration court cases — which has been piling up for the last decade — has only gotten worse since thousands of undocumented children fled Central America and migrated to the U.S. last summer. As a result, thousands of cases involving undocumented immigrants seeking either political asylum or refugee status have been placed on the backburner, and are not scheduled to be heard until as late as 2019.

Federal reports released earlier this year show that the backlog in the already overburdened federal immigration courts increased by 68 percent since 2014, bringing the number of pending cases to an all-time high of 445,706 in April, reports The Los Angeles Times. That number now hovers at more than 450,000, according to Fox News Latino.

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Tijuana and the Future of Trade

June 8, 2015

6/7/15 The Huffington Post

tijuana photoblogSince 1928, Tijuana, Mexico, has been portrayed as the city of sin — the place that allowed “mob entrepreneurs” to take advantage of its strategic location in order to satisfy U.S. demand for all things illegal. Tijuana also became the most visited border city in the world, mainly thanks to tourism.

In 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect, it was widely expected to be the key for Mexico to finally join leading economies in the 21st century. The agreement pushed Tijuana to evolve from a focus on tourism to one on manufacturing.

Companies like Samsung, Panasonic, Sony and others opened massive assembly plants there.

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Supreme Court rejects bid to revive Arizona’s no-bail law for immigrants in US illegally

June 2, 2015

6/1/15 US News & World Report

Joe_Arpaio_by_Gage_SkidmoreThe U.S. Supreme Court landed the final blow against an Arizona law that denied bail to immigrants who are in the country illegally and are charged with certain felonies, marking the latest in a series of state immigration policies that have since been thrown out by the courts.

The nation’s highest court on Monday rejected a bid from metro Phoenix’s top prosecutor and sheriff to reinstate the 2006 law after a lower appeals court concluded late last year that it violated civil rights by imposing punishment before trial.While a small number of Arizona’s immigration laws have been upheld, the courts have slowly dismantled most of the other statutes that sought to draw local police into immigration enforcement.

Read more…


Upcoming Conference! Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border

May 19, 2015

Border - Roadsign pointing between Nogales, mexico and TucsonWHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 8:00am-4:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

RSVP HERE.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Border Trade Alliance, and the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos invite you to our second annual high-level “Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border” conference this year, focusing on improving border management in order to strengthen the competitiveness of both the United States and Mexico. Specific emphasis will be put on border and transportation infrastructure, growth in the energy sector, innovation, and the need for efforts that simultaneously support security and efficiency in border management.

Confirmed Speakers (Additional speakers will be added to the program):

  • Senator John Cornyn (TX), Majority Whip, United States Senate
  • Ambassador Alejandro Estivill, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Mexico
  • Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
  • Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23)
  • Geronimo Gutierrez, Director, North American Development Bank
  • Omar Garcia, President & CEO, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable
  • Jose Martin Garcia, Representative of the Mexican Treasury and Tax Administration Service in Washington, DC
  • Ricardo Alvarez, Professor, CETYS University, Baja California
  • Jesse Hereford, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance, Director of Business Development, S&B Infrastructure
  • Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center
  • Christopher Wilson, Senior Associate, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here for more information.

*A live webcast will be available.


U.S.-born students in Mexico risk becoming ‘lost generation’

March 10, 2015

03/09/15 Los Angeles Times 

immigrant mother and boyEmmanuel Vargas was 13 and just starting eighth grade in Davenport, Iowa, when his father was detained in a workplace immigration raid and deported back to Mexico. His parents decided they should stick together, and the whole family, including Emmanuel and his 15-year-old sister, both born in Iowa, moved to Leon, in the central state of Guanajuato. It was a culture shock for the full-fledged American teenagers, who spoke fluent English and broken Spanish. Their parents assured them that things would get easier once they enrolled in school and made new friends. But with one bureaucratic delay after another, it took a full year for the Mexican school to process their enrollment.

Read More…


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