Slain Lawyer for Mexican Drug Cartel Apparently Was U.S. Informant

4/26/16 Wall Street Journal

mexican drugsFORT WORTH, Texas—A lawyer for a powerful Mexican drug cartel was cooperating with law enforcement and allowed to live legally in the U.S. before being gunned down in a posh Dallas suburb, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

The revelation that Juan Jesús Guerrero Chapa, a prominent member of the so-called Gulf Cartel, worked as an informant before his killing in 2013 came during opening statements in a closely watched murder trial federal court here. Mr. Guerrero Chapa’s role was earlier reported by the Dallas Morning News.

Two men, Jesús Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda, 59, and his cousin,  José Luis Cepeda-Cortés, 60, are accused of stalking Mr. Guerrero Chapa and arranging his killing by hit men outside a shopping center in the small city of Southlake. The slaying shocked North Texas.

According to a defense lawyer for one of the defendants, the hit men were from a rival cartel. Both defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder for hire and interstate stalking, which could lead to life in prison.

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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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Immigration Reform 2016: Ahead Of Nevada Caucus, Ted Cruz Says He’d Deport All Undocumented Immigrants

2/23/16 International Business Times

Ted_Cruz_by_Gage_Skidmore_4Less than a day before Nevada Republicans were expected to caucus to choose a potential next president, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took a pointed new position on immigration Monday. His new plan — to round up and deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States — aligns the senator with the bombastic front-runner Donald Trump, who has played a crucial role in starting an intra-party debate over immigration reform.

“Yes, we should deport them,” Cruz told Fox News channel host Bill O’Reilly. He went further by saying that a Cruz administration would play an active role looking for people to deport. “Of course you would. That’s what [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] exists for. We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the laws that apprehends them and deports them.”

Cruz has been moving right on the issue for months now, though he has always been considered strong on the issue. In January, Cruz said that he opposed a special force to find and deport undocumented immigrants, saying that he did not intend on sending law enforcement to every door in America.

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EVENT TOMORROW | Innovation in Colonias on the Texas-Mexico Border: Building on Border Assets

man_w_social_media_0WHEN: TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 27, 9:00-11:00am

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Urban Sustainability Laboratory and Mexico Institute, along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, are pleased to invite you to the event, Innovation in Colonias on the Texas-Mexico Border: Building on Border Assets.” While public discussion often focuses on the challenges facing low-income communities living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, the region’s assets can be leveraged to advance local economic development. A panel of experts will discuss opportunities to promote  development, entrepreneurship and job creation for the colonia populations living along the border. Panelists will discuss how policies for affordable housing, infrastructure, education, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and health can be integrated with efforts to build an inclusive economy and strong community networks and cooperation. On-the-ground innovation in the border region and in the colonias offers important new models for development in underserved communities.

A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, “Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas-Mexico Border”, provides context for the discussion. Texas colonias, home to an estimated 500,000 people, represent one of the largest concentrations of poverty in the U.S. This report offers a comprehensive profile of Texas border colonias, assessing the opportunities, successes, and challenges facing these communities.

Click here to RSVP. 

TEXAS WON’T GIVE BIRTH CERTIFICATES TO CHILDREN OF UNDOCUMENTED WOMEN

7/16/15 Houston Press

Baby feet by Flikr user sabianmaggyState officials have refused to give an untold number of Texas-born children birth certificates due to their parents’ immigration status, according to a lawsuit that was filed earlier this year.

More than a dozen undocumented women have sued the Department of State Health Services, saying workers at vital statistics offices in the Rio Grande Valley refused to give them birth certificates because of insufficient records proving their identity. Many of the women had used the same documents – a so-called matricula issued by their consulate or a foreign passport without a current U.S. visa – to obtain birth certificates for other children born in Texas as recently as 2012.

The lawsuit, which was reported by the Texas Observer earlier this week, claims these children are being discriminated against because of a parent’s tenuous immigration status. Without official proof of the parent-child relationship, the children have been unable to enroll in school, have had difficulty obtaining medical care and other benefits they should be eligible to receive as U.S. citizens.

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Immigration Reform: Ted Cruz Wants More ‘Boots On The Ground’ To Secure US Border

6/10/15 International Business Times

Customs_and_Border_Protection_officersSen. Ted Cruz, a 2016 presidential hopeful, wants to shore up both the U.S. border and his credentials as an implacable foe of immigration reform. So the Texas Republican traveled to the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas on Tuesday to attend a border security briefing (and, later, a fundraiser). He criticized President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions and prescribed more “boots on the ground” to increase security, even while border patrol agent numbers have reached near-record highs.

“One hears from the ground that the security threats remain significant and that we need adequate manpower, adequate tools to secure our border and protect our nation,” Cruz said, speaking near a border patrol station. “The cartels have manpower along the Rio Grande river, they monitor what’s happening on a real-time basis, and the single best tool is boots on the ground.”

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Mexico Loosening Rules for Armed U.S. Agents

6/8/19 The Texas Tribune

CBP_Border_Patrol_agent_reads_the_Miranda_rights_After decades of forbidding foreign law enforcement officers from carrying weapons on Mexican soil, the Mexican government is on the verge of allowing U.S. agents to carry guns in places where they help speed the flow of goods between the two countries.

Texas lawmakers are celebrating the move as a significant step toward increasing trade, and say Mexico is also expected to draw up new rules allowing security personnel for visiting dignitaries to obtain permits to carry weapons.

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