A TALE OF RACIAL PASSING AND THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER

07/21/2016 The New Yorker

cactusSome people knew him as William Ellis, and others as Guillermo Eliseo. He could be Mexican, Cuban, or even Hawaiian, depending on whom you asked. Everyone seemed to agree that he was spectacularly wealthy and successful. In the dime-store Who’s Who books that were popular at the turn of the twentieth century, his name, in one form or another, appeared regularly. He was a “Banker, Broker, and Miner,” who came to New York from the “Mexican frontier,” an exemplar of the self-made man.

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…

For regular crossers of the U.S.-Mexico border, waiting is part of the routine

07/16/16 Los Angeles Times 

border2Lines of red taillights greet Jerry Jackson each morning as he launches his commute to downtown San Diego. For the 34-year-old Tijuana resident, getting to work means crossing an international border, and that often entails a two-hour wait.

As the U.S. presidential campaign draws a spotlight to the U.S.-Mexico border, much of the discussion has focused on immigration reform and ways to stop illegal immigration. Overlooked are the vast numbers of legal crossers such as Jackson, who enter the country at 25 land ports along the southwest border. They enter for jobs, for school, for shopping, for entertainment, for medical treatment and for visits to friends and relatives.

Read more…

Mexican President to Visit Obama Day After GOP Convention Ends

07/14/2016 Bloomberg

obama penaMexico President Enrique Pena Nieto will visit President Barack Obama at the White House the day after the Republican convention where Donald Trump is expected to become the party’s nominee, highlighting cooperation between the two nations amid a wave of anti-immigrant and anti-Nafta campaign rhetoric.

Read more…

Human smugglers caught in Mexico in Uber cars

06/30/16 The Hill

Border - MexicoA group of human traffickers was apprehended in northern Mexico earlier this month smuggling Central American migrants north in cars registered with the Uber ride-hailing service.

Five cars were stopped June 10 at the border of the Mexican states Coahuila and Zacatecas carrying 34 undocumented migrants, Reuters reported. Of the five cars, four were registered with Uber.

Central American migrants traditionally use a freight train known as “La Bestia” — “The Beast” — to traverse Mexico, but authorities cracked down on the practice in 2015, partly because of U.S. pressure and because migrants on the rail line had become a magnet for organized crime.

Obama denounces ‘demagogues’ in immigration debate

06/29/2016 CNN

obamaWashington (CNN) President Barack Obama said Wednesday he believes the United States will continue to be a “nation of immigrants” despite attempts to exploit “anti-immigration sentiment” — a thinly-veiled swipe at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Read more…

NAFTA Seen Key to Preserving US-Mexico Relationship

06/28/2016 Atlantic Council

Atlantic Council
Photo credit: Atlantic Council

It would be a “disaster” to cut trade relations with Mexico, Carlos Gutierrez, who served as US secretary of commerce in the George W. Bush administration, said at the Atlantic Council on June 27.

“[The North American Free Trade Agreement] is worth about one trillion dollars and companies have been setting up supply chains in these three countries for the past twenty years. We need to preserve this embedded infrastructure,” said Gutierrez.

 

Read more…