Businesses, Feds Meet on Border Banking; No Resolutions

June 25, 2015

6/23/15 Arizona Public Media
Us-mexico-border mapFederal bank regulators visited Nogales last week to discuss hurdles to banking on the border.

The meeting came after reports that banks stopped servicing some Arizona border businesses because of the challenge of complying with federal anti-money laundering regulations.

Arizona’s senators helped to arrange the June 16 meeting, which was by invitation only and closed to the press. Participants said the meeting brought together regulators from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of Currency with local bankers, political representatives and business people.

Those in attendance included Sabrina Hallman, president and CEO of Sierra Seed Co., based in Nogales.

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Arizona governor promotes state during economic and business trips to Mexico, France

June 24, 2015

6/21/15 Fox News Latino

welcome to Arizona sign state lineArizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Saturday was wrapping up a week-long trip to France and Mexico that focused on promoting the state to international business and economic leaders.

The Mexico visit in particular appeared designed to repair relations with the state’s southern neighbor that were damaged by former Gov. Jan Brewer’s positions on immigration.

After Brewer signed a tough 2010 immigration law, Mexican governors cancelled an annual border governors meeting in Phoenix, and while she later visited Mexico several times, the damage was done.

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Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico

June 24, 2015

In collaboration with Circle of Blue, the Mexico Institute of the Wilson Center is working to address the future of energy and water scarcity along the US-Mexico border. The major points of contention are outlined by Keith Schneider in a new article titled “Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers from Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico.”

Over the next 8 days we will be posting excerpts from this article, which is published in full on our website. Stay tuned!

Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico 

by Keith Schneider

Before world oil prices collapsed late last year, shop owners closest to the banks of the Rio Grande River in Piedras Negras joked that they could hear the groans of Texas drilling rigs advancing toward their fast-growing northern Mexico city.

Just seven years ago, the first well was drilled into the Eagle Ford shale formation, which is 80 kilometers wide (50 miles) and stretches northeast for 640 kilometers (400 miles) from the border, past the eastern outskirts of San Antonio. That well yielded such prodigious quantities of gas and oil it set off a frenzy of investment so intense in Texas that 11,000 more wells were completed in the 29-county drilling zone. The Eagle Ford now produces over 1.6 million barrels of oil and 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, making it one of the largest oil and gas fields on the planet.

mexico coahuila water

Coahuila is one of the driest regions in the Americas. Most of its available water is supplied from aquifers. Fresh water is so scarce in Coahuila that the Mexico government has already announced that it will not issue new groundwater use permits for oil and gas development. Graphic © Kaye LaFond / Circle of Blue

Until oil prices melted, nothing slowed the development. Not the availability of capital or drilling rigs. Not a deep Texas drought that focused public attention on the 15,000 to 19,000 cubic meters (4 million to 5 million gallons) of fresh water required to drill and hydraulically fracture each well. Not the nearly equal levels of public concern about the billions of gallons of oilfield wastewater and the choices energy development companies were making to pump the toxic liquids into deep disposal wells, some of which University of Texas at Austin researchers linked to heightened earthquake activity.

The big questions asked by northern Mexico state and business leaders are two-fold. First is whether the portions of Eagle Ford shale that reach under the Rio Grande and deep into Coahuila are capable of producing anywhere near the same quantities of fossil energy. Another question is whether difficult ecological conditions, particularly the scant reserves of fresh water in Mexico’s second driest state, are suitable to support intense drilling and development.

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Laredo Border Patrol saw busy weekend

June 23, 2015

6/22/15 KGNS TV

CBP_Border_Patrol_agent_reads_the_Miranda_rights_U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Laredo Sector significantly disrupted criminal organization activities over the weekend as they rescued illegal immigrants, detained subject with a criminal sexual crime, and made a significant narcotic seizure.

On June 19, at approximately 11:00PM, Laredo North Station agents assigned to the Border Patrol checkpoint located on Interstate Highway 35, rescued 37 illegal immigrants concealed inside a tractor-trailer. The driver was referred to secondary inspection where the agents discovered the undocumented immigrants in the unventilated cargo area. All of the undocumented immigrants were from Mexico.

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Immigration 2015: 1 Dead In California Border Patrol-Undocumented Immigrants Boat Collision

June 19, 2015

6/19/15 International Business Times

Photo via Flickr user Walter

Photo via Flickr user Walter

One woman died Thursday after a boat that was packed with undocumented immigrants collided Thursday with a U.S. Border Patrol vessel in Southern California, according to a new report. At least four other undocumented immigrants were hospitalized after the collision, which happened off the coast of the North County in Oceanside, California, near San Diego, ABC affiliate 10 News reported.

The undocumented immigrants were allegedly being smuggled into the U.S. Thursday morning when agents from the U.S. Customs and Border protection spotted the boat they were in and attempted to stop it. However, the boat ignored the orders despite warning shots from agents before the collision, resulting in all 20 of the people on the smuggling boat ending up in the water and the boat capsizing.

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1,700 pounds of pot found in mango shipment from Mexico

June 19, 2015

6/18/15 KPHO – CBS5 Arizona

mexican drugsAuthorities say about $850,000 worth of marijuana was hidden within the roof a tractor-trailer carrying a shipment of mangoes.U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered the nearly 1,700 pounds of pot on Monday at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona.The marijuana was bundled into 274 packages placed in the roof of the vehicle driven by Ramon Emilio Felix-Lopez, of Sinaloa, Mexico.

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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.”

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