As Mexican Families Leave U.S. for Home, Film Focuses on the Children

3/16/16 New York Times 

For 10 years, Alberta Ojera bounced around the United States, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to Chicago to New York City. But without legal status, she could not go home to Mexico to visit her aging parents. So in 2012, Ms. Ojera and her three children, all born in Chicago, moved back to the small town of Ciénega de Zimatlán.

They traded a cramped apartment for a farm. But it came at a cost.
Her partner and the father of their children, Carlos Ramirez, stayed behind in Queens to support the family. He works six days a week as a cook at a bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and occasionally works as a tattoo artist.


Their story has become a common one: A recent Pew Research Center report showed that from 2009 to 2014, more Mexican immigrants and their families, including their American-born children, returned to Mexico than migrated to the United States.

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Last Flight Leaves in Bridge to Mexico for Cuban Migrants

3/15/16 ABC News

The last direct flight carrying stranded Cuban migrants from Costa Rica has arrived in Mexico, ending an effort that transported 6,003 Cubans, including some from Panama, Mexico’s Interior Department said Tuesday.

Nearly 8,000 Cuban migrants had been stuck in Costa Rica after Nicaragua began refusing passage to them in November. Others had been stuck in Panama, on a land route that saw Cubans flying to Ecuador and then making their way overland through Central America to reach the U.S. border. Ecuador began requiring visas for Cubans late last year, effectively blocking the route to most would-be migrants.

Costa Rica’s Foreign Relations Ministry said the last flight Tuesday included 50 migrants who couldn’t pay for the chartered flights to Mexico, and got tickets subsidized by international aid groups. Costa Rica had housed thousands of Cubans for months at 44 shelters.

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A Visceral Portrait of Life at the U.S.-Mexico Border

3/15/16 The Atlantic

fence at borderIn this short documentary, filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes re-works material from his award-winning feature film, Purgatorio, into an ode to the squalid borderland between the United States and Mexico. Beautifully shot and at times difficult to watch, the film confronts viewers with the hardships of the real human beings that exist at the very center of the debate on immigration.

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How Mexican immigrants ended ‘separate but equal’ in California

3/2/2016 Los Angeles Times

In the coverage of the 2016 election cycle, you’ll hear this time and again: Latinos — immigrants and their families — are playing an important role in electing the next U.S. president. They are the largest minority group in the nation, and they are poised to make a major impact on American democracy.

It won’t be the first time. Seventy years ago, Mexican immigrants moved American civil rights forward, away from racial segregation toward integration and equality. It happened eight years before the Supreme Court began to dismantle segregation by handing down its decision in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954.

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Deferred Action for Unauthorized Immigrant Parents: Analysis of DAPA’s Potential Effects on Families and Children

February 2016 Migration Policy Institute

In November 2014, the Obama administration announced the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which would protect from deportation and provide eligibility for work authorization to as many as 3.6 million unauthorized immigrants, according to MPI estimates. Unauthorized immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) would qualify for deferred action for three years if they meet certain other requirements.

The Supreme Court in April 2016 is expected to hear arguments in the administration’s appeal of a lower court order blocking implementation of DAPA and a related expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The justices’ decision in the case, which began when Texas and 25 other states challenged the president’s authority to create the DAPA program and expand DACA, is expected in June 2016. If the high court permits DAPA to go forward, the program has the potential to improve the incomes and living standards for many unauthorized immigrant families through protection from deportation and eligibility for work authorization.

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5 facts about Mexico and immigration to the U.S.

2/11/2016 Pew Research Center

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 200Pope Francis is expected to make immigration a major theme of his visit to Mexico. By traveling northward across Mexico, he intends to symbolically retrace the journey of Mexican and Central American migrants traveling to the United States. After the pope leaves Mexico City, his route will begin in the southern state of Chiapas, which shares a long border with Guatemala, and end in Ciudad Juárez, located across the U.S.-Mexico border from El Paso, Texas, a longtime entry point to the U.S.

U.S. immigration from Latin America has shifted over the past two decades. From 1965 to 2015, more than 16 million Mexicans migrated to the U.S. in one of the largest mass migrations in modern history. But over the past decade, Mexican migration to the U.S. has slowed dramatically. Today, Mexico increasingly serves as a land bridge for Central American immigrants traveling to the U.S.

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Step by Step on a Desperate Trek by Migrants Through Mexico

2/8/2015 New York Times

ARRIAGA, Mexico — The police truck appeared suddenly, a glint of metal and glass. The migrants broke into a sprint, tripping over cracked pavement as an older woman sweeping her stoop urged them to hurry.

The 10 men rounded the corner and hid behind a row of low-slung trees. Four days into their journey from Central America, the new reality onMexico’s southern border was setting in: Under pressure from the United States, the Mexican authorities were cracking down.

Minutes passed. The men fanned out and doubled over to catch their breath. Along the tree line, a man approached, wearing flip-flops and a collared shirt. He told them not to worry — he knew the way north.

Small, with jaundiced eyes, he was practiced in the art of smuggling. He could spot patrols, flag down vehicles for rides, even navigate the hidden trails carved into the lush countryside. They could trust him, he promised. He just wanted to help.

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