California reaches deal with Trump administration on National Guard role

04/18/2018 The Washington Post

jerrybrownCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown has reached an agreement with Homeland Security and Defense officials on the terms of his state’s National Guard deployment to the border, after insisting the troops will not be used to help U.S. agents enforce immigration laws.

Wednesday’s announcement follows several days of back-and-forth posturing between the White House and the Democratic governor, whose state’s “sanctuary” policies protecting undocumented immigrants are a frequent target of President Trump’s exclamatory Twitter barbs.

Brown said California will deploy 400 soldiers who will work against drug trafficking and cross-border criminal groups but eschew contact with border-crossing migrants.

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‘Dreamers’ in Arizona are no longer eligible for in-state tuition, court rules

04/10/2018 The Washington Post

dreamersThe Arizona Supreme Court on Monday ruled that young immigrants protected from deportation under an Obama-era program will no longer be eligible for in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges.

The court unanimously agreed with the Arizona Court of Appeals, which ruled that federal and state laws do not allow Maricopa Community Colleges to grant in-state tuition to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, also known as “dreamers.”

Chief Justice Scott Bales said he issued the brief order to give the students affected “as much time as possible for planning,” as student enrollment at community colleges for summer and fall has already begun. The court will issue a full opinion by mid-May, the order said.

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Some 200 migrants in Mexico caravan to seek U.S. asylum: organizers

04/09/2018 Reuters

migrantesAt least 200 Central American migrants in a “caravan” traveling through Mexico that provoked the ire of U.S. President Donald Trump plan to seek asylum in the United States, organizers said on Monday.

After arriving in Mexico City on Monday, hundreds of migrants poured into the Basilica of Guadalupe, a Roman Catholic shrine, to give thanks, collect themselves or unleash emotions coiled tight during their long journey together from the southern border.

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Trump claims historically secure border as he calls up troops

04/05/2018 CNN

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)President Donald Trump took credit on Thursday for what he said was a decades-low drop in border crossings from Mexico at a time when his administration has touted the need to militarize the border due to a surge in migration.

“Because of the Trump Administrations actions, Border crossings are at a still UNACCEPTABLE 46 year low. Stop drugs!” he tweeted.

Trump also said in his tweet the migrant caravan moving toward the US-Mexico border has “largely broken up thanks to the strong immigration laws of Mexico and their willingness to use them so as not to cause a giant scene at our Border.”

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Trump credits Mexico for reportedly breaking up migrant caravan

04/05/2018 Politico

ny immigration story
NY Times image

President Donald Trump on Thursday celebrated the move by Mexican authorities this week to break up a large group of migrants making their way north towards the U.S., claiming credit for a reduction in illegal border crossings while insisting that such crossings remain too frequent.

“The Caravan is largely broken up thanks to the strong immigration laws of Mexico and their willingness to use them so as not to cause a giant scene at our Border,” the president wrote online. “Because of the Trump Administrations actions, Border crossings are at a still UNACCEPTABLE 46 year low. Stop drugs!”

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For deportees at a migrant shelter on Mexican border, an agonizing choice: Turn back or try crossing again

03/29/2018 Los Angeles Times

immigrantsThe migrants rose before dawn to prepare a breakfast of bean burritos and champurrado, a Mexican cinnamon-chocolate drink whose scent filled the dining hall of their temporary shelter in this heavily trafficked border town across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.

The number of migrants apprehended at the southern border has dipped since President Trump took office, but hundreds still arrive each week at Casa Migrante, a haven in this border city still haunted by drug cartel violence that scared off U.S. tourists and businesses during the last decade. The surrounding state of Tamaulipas, which hugs the border, is still one of the most violent in Mexico, and the State Department this year warned Americans against traveling there. Few migrants want to linger in Nuevo Laredo.

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UPCOMING EVENT | Beyond “Coyotes”: Current Trends in the Facilitation of Irregular Migration in Latin America

WHEN: April 5, 2018, 9-11am

WHERE: 6th Floor, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

For generations, the persona of the coyote, or smuggler, as facilitator of irregular migration has been a central figure in Latin American migrants’ accounts of their journeys ‘up north.’ While traditionally viewed as providing a necessary service, smugglers are increasingly depicted as violent and predatory men often operating in collusion with other illicit networks for the sole purpose of obtaining financial profits. This narrative, while compelling, often obscures the fact that migrants’ reliance on coyotes is a response to multiple factors.

This event shifts the focus away from the coyote. It sheds light on how, across Latin America, the increasingly punitive nature of immigration enforcement, shifting migration trends, and the presence of other actors—including those from other illicit markets — have altered the landscape of traditional irregular migration facilitation strategies, often to the detriment of migrants’ safety.

Join us for a discussion about current trends in smuggling and its organization, the shifting roles of migrants in the market, and the additional criminal risks many of them face as a result.  Speakers will present findings from their research in South and Central America, Mexico, and the US-Mexico border:

Welcome and Moderator: 

Eric L. Olson, Senior Adviser, Mexico Institute; Deputy Director, Latin American Program Wilson Center


Victoria Stone Cadena: “Coyoterismo in the Americas: the myths of mobility”
Associate Director, Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Gabriella Sanchez: “Care, protection and support during smuggling journeys in the Central America-Mexico -US Mexico border migration corridor” 
Research Fellow, Migration Policy Centre, The Robert Schuman Centre, European University Institute

Sheldon Zhang: “Migrant Smuggling and its convergence with other illicit markets along the US Mexico Border” 
Chair and Professor, School of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell


Dr. Louise Shelley
Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Endowed Chair; Director, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC), Schar School of Policy and Government,  George Mason University

Click to RSVP