Mexico ‘a death trap for migrants’ one year after new border program launched

7/9/15 Daily News

Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_arrestHonduran migrant Gerardo Cruz never saw the face of the man who pushed him off the train’s ladder as he rode through Chontalpa, Mexico. But through the black of that March night, 20-year-old Cruz said he could make out the white lettering of “Policía Federal” or “Federal Police” on the man’s dark blue uniform.

When Cruz fell, he said, his left arm landed on the tracks and the train’s wheels severed his limb.

“The government officials were the cause of this problem,” Cruz said of his injury, speaking in Spanish. “There should be compensation because this is a crime.”

Mexico’s Southern Border Program was launched in July 2014 in response to an influx of Central American migrants crossing through Mexico, creating a crisis that included tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving at the US border. The program was designed to manage Mexico’s 750-mile border with Guatemala and Belize while protecting migrants settled in the country or en route to the US.

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

Day 3 of our on-going article excerpts. Check out the blog again on Monday for more, or head straight to our website for the remainder of the article.

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

by Keith Schneider

Coahuila Says It’s Ready

Whether the shale gas fields of Coahuila and its neighboring states are included in the offering, though, is not certain. The national government has expressed concern about low gas and oil prices, and about security. Northern Mexico is the base of operations of “Los Zetas,” the most technologically advanced, sophisticated, and dangerous Mexican gang, which has infiltrated the state’s coal sector and terrorized several energy exploration teams.

The Governor of Coahuila, Rubén Moreira Valdéz, among the industry’s biggest boosters, is not intimidated. Moreira is pressing the national government to open bidding for development rights in his state to keep a promising oil industry job boom going. Earlier this year, during a shale development conference in Mexico City, Governor Moreira told attendees that “the economic development of shale oil and gas, and related investments, has generated more than 800 shale gas and shale oil jobs” in Coahuila.

The Duñas de Yeso are unique in Mexico and are often compared to the White Sands national monument in New Mexico. The dunes were formed over thousands of years by sand grains moved by the wind from deposits left on the banks of the Laguna Churince during its periodic ebb and flow. Since surface water on the lake has disappeared completely in the past few years, conservationists fear that this process has now been interrupted, with unpredictable consequences for this natural wonder and its unique bio system.
The Duñas de Yeso are unique in Mexico and are often compared to the White Sands national monument in New Mexico. The dunes were formed over thousands of years by sand grains moved by the wind from deposits left on the banks of the Laguna Churince during its periodic ebb and flow. Since surface water on the lake has disappeared completely in the past few years, conservationists fear that this process has now been interrupted, with unpredictable consequences for this natural wonder and its unique bio system.

 

Executives of Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, join administrators in Mexico’s Ministry of Energy in projecting much larger returns. Two years ago the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that northern Mexico reserves held 13 billion barrels of shale oil and 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, ranking the region as one of most potentially productive shale energy zones on the planet.

Pemex anticipates that the oil and gas producing basins of Coahuila and neighboring Nuevo Leon could attract over $US 100 billion in investment to drill 8,000 to 10,000 oil and gas wells. Coahuila state authorities added that they expected $US 64 billion of that total to be invested in their state, and that 240,000 jobs would result. Earlier this year a report by the University of Texas at San Antonio, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos, and the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute was similarly enthusiastic. The report asserted that Mexico is in an ideal situation to reap the benefits of unconventional extraction techniques.

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Mexico detains 49 percent more minors in first 5 months

6/22/15 Macon.com

barbed wireWhile the wave of child and teen migrants has receded at the U.S. border, detentions of Central American minors are up sharply in Mexico this year, the country’s National Immigration Institute reported Monday

It said detentions of Central American minors have risen 49 percent compared to the similar period last year, with about half of the 11,893 underage migrants detained between January and May travelling alone or with a smuggler. That’s compared to 8,003 in the same period of 2014 and 3,496 in 2013.

Two-thirds of those detained so far in 2015 were between the ages of 12 and 17. One third were 11 or younger. The institute said they were mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

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

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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Mexico Loosening Rules for Armed U.S. Agents

6/8/19 The Texas Tribune

CBP_Border_Patrol_agent_reads_the_Miranda_rights_After decades of forbidding foreign law enforcement officers from carrying weapons on Mexican soil, the Mexican government is on the verge of allowing U.S. agents to carry guns in places where they help speed the flow of goods between the two countries.

Texas lawmakers are celebrating the move as a significant step toward increasing trade, and say Mexico is also expected to draw up new rules allowing security personnel for visiting dignitaries to obtain permits to carry weapons.

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

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

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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