The immigrants still ‘California Dreamin’

5/18/16 BBC

CaliforniaA group of drunken men are loitering on the pavement outside Claudia’s block of flats in San Francisco. In the run-down lobby, visitors are greeted by a broken fridge.

The studio flat Claudia shares with her two young daughters though is tidy and homely.

Claudia fled from a violent partner and became homeless. She has been rehoused by a San Francisco charity but her problems are far from over.

‘Fearful for my children’

Claudia does not want to give me her full name because she is one of the more than 11 million undocumented migrants living in the US, and she is worried by the political rhetoric in the presidential race.

“What Donald Trump said shocked me very much because I’m Mexican,” she says.

“I’m fearful that my children would have to fend for themselves because he would want to deport me.”

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Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan: Big Promises, Bigger Doubts

5/19/16 New York Times

Donald_Trump)Big promises are to be expected from presidential candidates, but reality often intrudes. The elder George Bush broke the “no new taxes” pledge that helped lead to his election. And Barack Obama’s administration has yet to live up to his prediction that his nomination would go down in history as the moment “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Donald J. Trump’s vow to restore what he says is America’s lost luster, while perhaps not as flowery, comes with campaign promises that are equally grandiose. But Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has typically provided scant details on how he might make good on his promises — and ambitious ideas, even the concrete kind, do not always add up.

Central to Mr. Trump’s campaign, and to his national security strategy, is his intent to clamp down on illegal immigration, using a vast deportation “force” to relocate people to the other side of a wall, funded by Mexico, that would stretch nearly the length of the southern border.

Mr. Trump has suggested he will flesh out his ideas in a forthcoming speech. But experts across many fields who have analyzed his plans so far warn that they would come at astronomical costs — whoever paid — and would in many ways defy the logic of science, engineering and law.

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Hundreds rescued from drug rehab center in western Mexico

5/19/16 CNN

Jalisco_in_Mexico_(location_map_scheme).svg(CNN)Hundreds of children, women and men who had been living at an overcrowded drug rehabilitation shelter in western Mexico were rescued in a police operation carried out Tuesday night, according to authorities.

Police found 271 people at the shelter, called “Spiritual Awakening, Alcoholics and Drug Addicts of the West,” in the city of Tonalá in the western state of Jalisco. The alleged victims were living in what authorities described as “inhumane conditions.” Police found 68 women, 91 men and 112 minors crammed into the facility.
“We’re still in the process of completing the operation. We found very serious conditions of overcrowding. We also found that people were being fed in a subhuman and inappropriate way,” Jalisco State’s Attorney Jesús Eduardo Almaguer said in a statement.
Almaguer said his office was alerted to the problem after a complaint from a woman who says she was beaten and kept from leaving the facility until she paid 1,500 Mexican pesos (U.S. $81.83) after she went there to visit a patient.

Global Investment Guide: How To Invest In Mexico

5/18/16 Forbes

Mexico BricksLooking at the country through an economist’s lens, Mexico’s economy can be described as mostly predictable and rarely volatile. However, the same cannot be said of Mexico’s stock and bond markets and currency. Given strong links to the United States’ economy, Mexico’s macroeconomic variables tend to move broadly in conjunction with the ups and downs of its northern neighbor. When the U.S. is expanding, so is Mexico; if the U.S. is in a recession, so is Mexico. However, Mexico’s asset prices tend to act and react to their compatriot emerging market asset classes – which are much more volatile. That said, Mexico’s principal asset classes tend to be “low beta” versions relative to most emerging markets (EM), so that when EM equities or bonds do very well, Mexico lags, but when EM sells off, Mexico acts like a relative safe haven. The Mexican peso is another matter.

Mexico has several things going for it. As mentioned above, the country has forged strong links with the U.S., especially after the formation of NAFTA. As the country has an abundance of relatively cheap labor, it was an ideal, close-proximity destination for manufacturing plants from the U.S. and Canada. Through time, the country has benefited from technology transfer and has been able to increase the skills of its workforce. Second, for most of the last few decades, well-trained and well-respected policymakers have been at the helm of Mexico’s central bank and finance ministry. Under their leadership, Mexico has been able to weather several global crises and also transitions to different presidential leadership, by implementing conservative fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy.

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ACLU alleges ‘unchecked abuse’ at U.S.-Mexico border

5/17/16 CNN

fence at border(CNN)A complaint filed Tuesday accuses U.S. officers of “unchecked abuse” at the border.

Several Mexican women claim they were arbitrarily detained and strip-searched, and never told why they’d been singled out. A U.S. citizen alleges that an officer yanked his 11-year-old son’s arm, causing a hairline fracture. A legal permanent resident of the United States says an officer screamed at her and falsely accused her of being a fugitive.
Those allegations are among 13 cases documented in a complaint the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Border Communities Coalition has filed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The administrative complaint, lodged Tuesday, accuses officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection of “systemic abuse” and rights violations at several entry points between Mexico and the United States.
“It really mocks our American values of justice and fairness,” said Cynthia Pompa, a field organizer at the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights. “And it shows that this agency really lacks oversight and accountability.”
DHS did not comment on the ACLU allegations.
Allegations in the complaint include:
• A 51-year-old Mexican woman says officers falsely accused her of being a prostitute and forced her to sign a false confession. She signed it because she didn’t understand English very well, according to the complaint. The confession, the complaint alleges, had her barred from entering the United States for five years.

Mexico leader Pena Nieto proposes legalising same-sex marriage

5/17/16 BBC News

pena-nieto-students

Mexico’s President, Enrique Pena Nieto, has proposed constitutional reform to legalise same-sex marriage across the country.

The decision follows a Supreme Court ruling that opened the way to such unions.

Gay marriage is only legal in the capital, Mexico City, and a few states.

Elsewhere in Latin America, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and most recently Colombia have already legalised same-sex marriage.

Mexico’s Supreme Court declared last year that it was unconstitutional for the country’s states to ban such marriages.

Mr Pena Nieto made the announcement at an event marking Mexico’s national day against homophobia.

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Remittances Supersede Oil As Mexico’s Main Source Of Foreign Income

5/17/16 Forbes

StrawberryPickersNearPonchatoulaFSARemittances, the earnings that Mexican workers in the U.S. send home, quietly replaced oil revenues as Mexico’s number one source of foreign income last year. In late 2014, oil was still Mexico’s main source of foreign exchange, but due to a dramatic fall in oil production following a lack of investment and a plunge in international oil prices, this is no longer the case.

“Remittances surpassed crude oil revenues for the first time in history in December of 2014. Since then, remittances have continued to increase even to the point of representing more than twice the value of crude oil exports since December of 2015,” José Alfredo Coutiño, Moody’s Director for Latin America, told me.

In 2016, first quarter remittances of $6.2 billion were 56.7% higher than the $2.6 billion earned from oil exports for the same period. The remittances for the quarter represents an 8.6% jump over the funds sent in the same period in 2015, according to Mexico’s Central Bank data.

Last year, Mexican remittances were $24.8 billion, while oil exports were $18.7 billion. With remittances growing and oil revenues decreasing, the pattern is likely to continue.

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