Time is right for regional water planning for border

08/29/2016 Albuquerque Journal

Guate-MexborderWater supplies are a key factor as states like New Mexico and Texas struggle with drought and nearly empty reservoirs and at the same time try to attract new business and industry.

It’s not that the Southwest doesn’t have water. It does, in large caches underground. But much of that water is brackish, or salty. It would take tens of millions in investments to build desalination plants to make it potable.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

Life looking across the US-Mexico border in El Paso: ‘You are glad you are here’

06/28/16 The Guardian 

El Paso and Juarez by Flickr user dherrera 96Efren Macias, 70, lives in a one-room rented apartment, only 1,000ft from a 15ft-high fence splitting El Paso from Mexico. His apartment is immaculately kept, the walls decorated with religious icons and pictures of his family, many of whose members live in Mexico.

Efren and his wife do not have a lot of money. They make about $1,000 a month from a small pension he receives and from her occasional home-care work. Yet they are content. “I am happy. I have a roof. I have food. I am safe. I see my family. I am not sure what more you need.”

Read more…

California sees surge in Chinese illegally crossing border from Mexico

06/07/2016 Los Angeles Times

border3The number of Chinese immigrants illegally crossing the Mexican border into California has skyrocketed in recent years, the result of a lucrative smuggling industry, mass migration from China and a diversifying pool of migrants settling in the United States.

Between October and May, the first eight months of the fiscal year, Border Patrol agents in the San Diego sector apprehended an estimated 663 Chinese nationals, compared with 48 in the entire previous fiscal year and eight in the year before that, according to data provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Before then, “we just weren’t getting [Chinese nationals],” said Wendi Lee, a spokeswoman for the Border Patrol.

Read more…

The GOP’s Mexico Derangement

6/6/2016 The Wall Street Journal

us mex flagA dozen Mexican states held elections on Sunday, and—ho-hum—the center-right National Action Party, or PAN, appears to have won seven of the races. The Journal reports that voters in the world’s 15th-largest economy were turned off by the ruling party’s failure to cut debt and tackle crime, and by a boy-wonder president, Enrique Peña Nieto, whom they now regard as more boy than wonder.

I mention this to illustrate that Mexico is a functioning democracy whose voters tend to favor pro-business conservatives, not a North American version of Libya, exporting jihad and boat people to its neighbors. Somebody ought to explain this to Republican voters, whose brains, like pickles in brine, have marinated too long in anti-Mexican nonsense.

Read more…

PGA Tour to move tournament from Trump’s Miami course — to Mexico

6/2/2016

pgatourCross-border migration has long gotten presumptive Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump hot under the collar — and in this particular instance more so than most.

The PGA Tour is moving a key tour date away from a course owned by the reality TV show star, golf resort developer and real estate billionaire — and relocating it to Mexico.

Trump broke the news himself, on Fox News anchor Sean Hannity’s show, getting in a few customary digs about the decision.
“I just heard that the PGA Tour is taking their tournament out of Miami and moving it to Mexico,” he said. “They’re moving it to Mexico City — which, by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance. But they’re moving it to Mexico City. And I’m saying, you know, what’s going on here? It’s so sad when you look what’s going on with our country.”

Sharing Music Across the U.S.-Mexico Border’s Metal Fence

5/29/2016 The New York Times

3482542774_f2826c6655_mSAN DIEGO — A locked security zone resembling a prison is not the most obvious location for a musical gathering. But on Saturday, as they have every year since 2008, musicians assembled on either side of the border between the United States and Mexico, carrying traditional Mexican string instruments and dance shoes with clickety-clack wooden heels. Through the thick metal weave of the fence, the grids so tight that a pinkie could barely squeeze through, they struggled to make out the faces of their friends and musical colleagues who were gathered and facing them on the Tijuana side.

On Saturday, some 60 musicians traveled to the heavily patrolled enforcement zone oddly named Friendship Park for an annual musical event known as the Fandango Fronterizo. A heady mix of joyful fiesta and sober political statement, the Fandango is a gritty affirmation of son jarocho — a centuries-old string music tradition from rural Veracruz, a southern Mexican state along the Gulf of Mexico, that has strong Spanish, African and indigenous roots.

The fandango at the border did not start out as an overtly political act. But through the years, as the national debate over immigration has become ever more divisive and as violence in Mexico has continued, the event’s symbolism has deepened and grown more bittersweet. The fandango itself is a communal custom involving musicians gathered in a circle, from which son jarocho grew.

Read more…