Seeking to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and law enforcement authorities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico arrested 36 alleged human smugglers Friday during a large-scale multinational operation called “Operation Lucero.”
The operation targeted transnational criminal organizations suspected of illegally smuggling hundreds of individuals each week – including children and families – throughout Central America and Mexico into the United States. The operation resulted in 17 arrests in El Salvador, seven in Guatemala and 12 in Mexico,” DHS announced.
In addition to the arrests, 39 undocumented migrants were rescued, including 10 unaccompanied minors, 14 accompanied minors and 15 adults. Law enforcement authorities seized 22 properties – 20 in Guatemala and two in Mexico – valued in excess of $2 million in US currency. Four bank accounts containing the equivalent of $142,000, and bulk cash valued at $46,000 was seized, as well as 22 vehicles, six weapons, three smuggling boats, 11 boat engines, ammunition, bank cards, communication devices and an abundance of documents corroborating human smuggling.
The United States Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to scale back its use of family immigration detention could help thousands of children and mothers who are fleeing persecution, Human Rights Watch said today. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced on June 24, 2015, that the Obama administration was committed to “substantial changes” to family immigration detention.
The greatest benefit would be for families who are seeking asylum in the US, Human Rights Watch said. Johnson said that “once a family has established eligibility for asylum or other relief under our laws, long-term detention is an inefficient use of our resources and should be discontinued.”
Day 2 of our on-going article excerpts. Stay tuned for more!
Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico
by Keith Schneider
A Confrontation in Approaches
Such issues anchor the momentous and era-changing choices that the desert Mexican state of nearly 3 million residents faces. In large measure shale oil and gas drilling is a 20th century construct, a readily recognizable strategy to mass potentially enormous energy resources, intensive industrial infrastructure, and huge sums of financial capital to achieve heightened economic development. In short, drilling a lot of oil and gas wells, and building a transport and processing infrastructure, is a familiar formula for growth.
But is the plan for mammoth oil and gas development potentially reckless? How much of what’s envisioned in Coahuila is really possible in the challenging demographic, resource-scarce, and drying conditions of the 21st century? In other words, Coahuila closely resembles southern Mongolia, northern China, the American West, Australia, and southern Africa, where growing cities, agriculture, and energy development fiercely compete for resources, especially diminishing supplies of fresh water.
The confrontation is so fraught with ecological urgency and climatic change that decades of entrenched regional economic policy and resource practices are shifting. Australia rewrote its water use statutes and spent billions of dollars to rebuild its irrigation network in the Murray-Darling Basin following a vicious 12-year drought. China shifted its major grain producing region to the wet Northeast and launched the world’s largest solar and wind energy sector to reduce water consumption in the drying Yellow River Basin. In the United States, a four-year drought prompted California to issue the first mandatory water restrictions in its history. The state also is much more closely overseeing water use and wastewater disposal in its oil industry, the nation’s third largest.
For the time being, the mega energy development paradigm prevails in Coahuila. Sometime later this year, or early in 2016, oil and gas companies could provide more insight into what they think is possible in the desert when Mexico opens bidding for oil and gas development rights to foreign companies. The new market is due to a change in Mexico’s Constitution in 2013, and new regulations in 2014, that made foreign investment possible in the country’s oil and gas sector.
On June 27, 2013, the Senate took a historic and bipartisan step toward an immigration system that works for all. By an overwhelming margin of 68 to 32 votes, the Senate passed S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. That bill took a comprehensive approach to modernizing the U.S. immigration system, providing a tough but fair pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants living in the country, updating the legal visa system for the 21st century, and making the largest and most expensive investments in border security to date. But the House of Representatives refused to consider it—or any other form of immigration reform—and S. 744 died a slow, painful death in the 113th Congress. In the 114th Congress, the only pieces of immigration legislation debated so far have beenenforcement-only bills, a far cry from the holistic solutions offered by S. 744.
So what would the country look like today had S. 744 become the law of the land? Put simply, millions of people would be on their way to permanent legal status and citizenship, thousands of families across the nation would be together, and the U.S. economy would see significant gains.
According to a new report by The ArcView Group, a cannabis industry investment and research firm based in California, legal marijuana sales rocketed 74 percent in 2014 to a new high of $2.7 billion. And with more states legalizing weed — Alaska, Oregon and Washington, DC, voted to join the legal stoners in November — it predicts this growth pace could continue for several more years straight. However, winners in some places often mean losers in others. And the losers appear to be south of the Rio Grande: Mexican marijuana growers, who’ve provided the lion’s share of cannabis for American smokers for decades.
Mexico would seek “hundreds of millions” of dollars in trade retaliation against the United States if Washington does not change meat labeling laws, a Mexican official said, as Mexico and Canada kept up pressure on the United States to act. The World Trade Organization ruled last month that the United States had failed to bring its meat labeling regulations fully in line with international fair trading rules after a complaint by its two neighbors. The ruling would be a step toward potential retaliation if packaging laws are not changed.
Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood and Associate Christopher Wilson responded to the U.S. Department of Commerce Federal Register Notice published on November 25, 2013, which requested stakeholder input on the U.S.‐Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED)
In their comments, they noted that Mexico and the United States share an economic space and an economic future, and that the HLED is an important and potentially fruitful element in moving that future forward and maximizing the benefits for both countries. They stated that it should be both consolidated through high‐level engagement and institutionalization, and broadened to include a greater dialogue with the private sector and civil society and an expanded focus on border affairs.