Computer visa glitch leaves migrant workers stranded at US-Mexico border

June 18, 2015

06/18/15 The Guardian

Migrant California vineyardA US government computer glitch has left hundreds of migrant farm workers stranded at the Mexican border, as their would-be employers now search for replacements to harvest their summer crops and combat further economic losses on both sides of the border.

Farms across the US rely on the H-2A visa program to hire temporary workers for each harvesting season. But the computer failure has prevented the government from issuing these visas to the predominantly Mexican workforce since last Wednesday.

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Mexico Now Detains More Central American Migrants than the United States

June 15, 2015

06/15/15 WOLA

Centroamerica_politicoWashington, D.C.—After a 2014 “surge” of unaccompanied minor migrants from Central America that set off alarms in the United States, the government of Mexico is now detaining more Central Americans than the United States, according to government data analyzed by the research and advocacy organization Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

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Why It’s So Hard To Get Migrant Kids In Rural Minnesota Through Immigration Court

June 8, 2015

6/8/15 Think Progress

immigrant mother and boyAbout 438 children who crossed the southern U.S. border alone, fleeing poverty and gang violence from Latin America were placed with sponsors in Minnesota in the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. At least 59 of those children have already been given deportation orders, “usually after skipping their court hearings,” the Star Tribune recently reported. And an undetermined number of additional kids are facing fundamental barriers to making their legal case that are exacerbated in the small rural towns where many migrants live: a lack of transportation to the Bloomington immigration court located three hours away in Minneapolis, a critical shortage of legal representatives, and few court interpreters who speak the appropriate language.

Immigration courts were overloaded last summer as President Obama called on immigration judges to expedite the cases of more than 68,000 Latin American children, most from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The so-called “rocket docket” focused on fast adjudication, a process that advocates criticized as they scrambled to find legal representation for the children nationwide.

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Mexico rescues more than 100 kidnapped migrants

May 7, 2015

05/07/05 BBC News 

shutterstock_24590917Police in Mexico have rescued more than 100 migrants kidnapped by a human trafficking gang near the capital. Reports said some of the migrants had been held hostage for five weeks in a house in Mexico State. Most of the victims were Central Americans, but they also included people from India and Sri Lanka. The migrants had been trying to reach the US illegally when they were captured by a gang who demanded cash from their relatives. Five human traffickers were arrested in the town of Axapusco after the raid on Wednesday, said government officials. Nearly 100 agents were involved in the operation to rescue the victims, who included some 14 children. Local media reported that those freed are from Guatemala (33), El Salvador (23), India (23), Honduras (18), and Sri Lanka (five).

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With help from Mexico, number of child migrants crossing U.S. border falls

April 29, 2015

Pew Research Center, 4/28/2015

mexican-flag1The Mexican government has deported a record number of Central American children traveling without a guardian since last fall, which President Obama and other U.S. officials say has contributed to a significant drop in children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexico’s 3,819 deportations of unaccompanied minors from Central America during the first five months of the fiscal year represent a 56% increase over the same period a year earlier, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Mexican and U.S. government data. The stepped up security was a result of a plan by Mexican officials to address the record surge in child migrants last year.

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Mexican Police Free 92 Migrants Held Near U.S. Border

April 29, 2015

Reuters, 4/27/2015
policemanMexican police freed 92 migrants from a safe house in the city of Reynosa on Mexico’s northeastern border with the United States, the government said on Monday.

Federal police arrested three suspected gang members during the raid on the building where the migrants, hailing from Cuba, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, were being held, the National Security Commission said in a statement.

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Mexico, US, Canada Groups Ask UN to List Monarch Butterfly Reserve as in Danger

April 15, 2015

Fox News, 4/14/2015

Activists from Mexico, the United States and Canada are asking the U.N. World Heritage Committee to include the Monarch butterfly wintering reserve on a list of sites considered in danger.

UNESCO designated the 139,000-acre (56,259 hectare) reserve in the mountains west of Mexico City a World Heritage site in 2008.

Monarchs from the U.S. and Canada migrate 3,400-miles (5,470-kilometers) each year to winter in the forest reserve.

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