At one border park, separated immigrant families hug across a steel divide

5/2/16 The Washington Post 

Mexican-American_border_at_NogalesSAN DIEGO — Gabriela Esparza has a standing date on most Saturdays to talk to her mother, on a schedule that never changes. She drives down Interstate 5 and turns off into a sprawling wildlife habitat bounded by the beach and Pacific Ocean and an 18-foot galvanized metal fence that stretches as far as she can see.

She makes her way toward a small yard surrounded by steel mesh and waits until 10 a.m., when a U.S. Border Patrol agent opens a heavy gate. Her mother is on the other side, in Tijuana, Mexico, waiting to see her daughter through the checkered grate, perhaps to touch her fingertips. They stay as long as they can, until another family needs a turn or the agent in charge warns, “five more minutes,” and the gate is locked shut at 2 p.m.

This pen is Friendship Park, the only federally established binational meeting place along the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico. For seven years, this meeting through the mesh was as close as Esparza, 23, could get to her mother and sister.

This weekend was different. Esparza and her 2-year-old son, Leonel, stood in line Saturday with others chosen to participate in a celebration of Children’s Day in Mexico. For only the third time, the emergency door on this portion of the border fence would open, and five families would have three minutes each to embrace.

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Americans’ views of immigrants marked by widening partisan, generational divides

4/15/2016 Pew Research Center

Pew_Research_Center_logoRepublicans and Democrats continue to disagree deeply over immigration policies, including how to deal with undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and whether to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Underlying these differences is a substantial – and growing – partisan divide over whether immigrants generally are a strength or burden on the country.

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Border apprehensions, views of immigrants, 10 demographic trends

pew hispanic trends

April 15, 2016

Apprehensions of Mexican migrants at U.S. borders reach near-historic low

The number of Mexican migrants apprehended at U.S. borders in fiscal 2015 dropped to the lowest levels in nearly 50 years. This change comes after a period in which net migration of Mexicans to the U.S. had fallen to lows not seen since the 1940s. READ MORE >

Americans’ views of immigrants marked by widening partisan, generational divides

Republicans and Democrats continue to disagree deeply over immigration policies, including how to deal with undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and whether to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Underlying these differences is a substantial – and growing – partisan divide over whether immigrants generally are a strength or burden on the country. READ MORE >

10 demographic trends that are shaping the U.S. and the world

Americans are more racially and ethnically diverse than in the past, and the U.S. is projected to be even more diverse in the coming decades. These demographic changes are shifting the electorate – and American politics. The 2016 electorate will be the most diverse in U.S. history due to strong growth among Hispanic eligible voters, particularly U.S.-born youth.
READ MORE >
Demographic research: From multiracial children to gender identity, what demographers are studying now

Latinos in the 2016 Election: State Fact Sheets

The state fact sheets contain data on the size and social and economic characteristics of the Hispanic and non-Hispanic eligible voter populations. READ MORE >

April 19 primary: New York
April 19 primary: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

Now or never: Trump’s Mexico wall threat encourages migration to US

4/5/2016 The Guardian

mexican immigrantCatalina Maldonado wanted to flee El Salvador for the US to protect her son from danger. After learning of Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico, she decided it was now or maybe never.

If the Republican candidate’s supporters might be delighted that some in Central America are treating the prospect of a wall-raising President Trump with high seriousness, in the short term it appears his rhetoric may be encouraging – not dissuading – migrants to head north to escape poverty and violence.

“We heard he wants to build those walls. That’s why we came,” Maldonado said. “A lot of people are talking about it in El Salvador. They say really bad things about him,” the 34-year-old added through a translator in a shelter in Texas’s Rio Grande valley, the centre of the 2014 surge in unauthorized crossings by families and unaccompanied minors and still the busiest route.

More than half of the lone children and families caught crossing the south-west border this fiscal year have been apprehended in the area, which offers the shortest journey from Central America, has sizable populations on both sides of the frontier, flat terrain and dense scrubland and where the only barrier between the US and Mexico is natural: the narrow, serpentine Rio Grande river.

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Mexico tortures migrants – and citizens – in effort to slow Central American surge

4/4/2016 The Guardian

migrants

Amy and Esther Juárez were edgy with excitement as they boarded the bus full of seasonal workers heading for a farm at the other end of Mexico from their home in the poverty-stricken southern state of Chiapas.

Although their brother Alberto,18, had made the same journey the previous year, it was the first time Amy, 24, and Esther, 15, had left the tiny indigenous community where they had grown up.

But about half-way there, immigration agents boarded the bus, and after checking all the passengers’ papers, ordered the three siblings to get off.

The officials accused them of carrying false documents and lying about their nationality. Then they told the youngsters that they would be deported to Guatemala, a country none would have been able to place on a map.

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The Border Walls Donald Trump Supports Have Led To Thousands Of Deaths In Arizona

3/23/16 International Business Times

8566728595_0d6365cce0_mRepublican White House hopeful Donald Trump stood in front of an outsize American flag Sunday in Fountain Hills, Arizona, and repeated a central promise of his presidential campaign that hits close to home in the Southwestern state.

“We’re going to build the wall, and we’re going to stop it. It’s going to end,” Trump said, referring to his stance on illegal immigration. “We’re going to have a big, beautiful wall.”

Trump has made building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico a cornerstone of his campaign, but his message on the stump fails to mention that existing barriers along the border in the Southwest have contributed to what activists have described as a growing humanitarian crisis. Fences erected in Texas, California and Arizona have led to the deaths of thousands of immigrants as vulnerable people have been pushed out into the inhospitable desert on their trek between the two countries even as the overall rate of illegal border crossing has dropped during the past eight years.

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Stop Trump Movement Gets Boost From Mexico’s Efforts in U.S.

3/22/16 Bloomberg

Trump Peace

Mexico is mounting an unprecedented effort to turn its permanent residents in the U.S. into citizens, a status that would enable them to vote — presumably against Donald Trump.

Officially, Mexico says it respects U.S. sovereignty and has no strategy to influence the result of the presidential race. Yet Mexican diplomats are mobilizing for the first time to assist immigrants in gaining U.S. citizenship, hosting free workshops on naturalization.

“This is a historic moment where the Mexican consulate will open its doors to carry out these types of events in favor of the Mexican community,” Adrian Sosa, a spokesman for the consulate in Chicago, said before an event on March 19. In Dallas, about 250 permanent residents attended the consulate’s first “citizenship clinic” in February and another 150 in its second in March. In Las Vegas, the turnout topped 500.

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