Feb 17, 2012

Week's Top Articles on Immigration and the Border: Feb. 10-16, 2012

To our readers: This will be the last edition of Americas MexicoBlog's Immigration and Border weekly news summary. We regret this, but our recent additon of translations of articles from Mexican newspapers and the related expansion of our coverage of the issues of human rights and the rule of law in Mexico meant--with our limited resources--that somthing had to give. Unfortunately, it is our coverage of immigration and border news. They remain critical issues. We trust you will continue to follow them through the many quality national and local news sources available. Google News is a handy tool.

Immigration news this week tells of farmers trying to get Congress to change the guest worker visa program. A series from Janesville, Wisconsin presents the realities of the lives of undocumented immigrants. The U.S. has to coff up $350,000 in fines for violating the rights of undocumented immigrants in Connecticut. And a video series by an Oscar-nominee director portrays the varied effects of Alabama's immigration crackdown.

Border news includes an announcement that the U.S. Army is sending more equipment and troops to the Mexico border as the national guard is pulled out. The Arizona legislature considers funding a volunteer militia to patrol its part of the border. Thankfully, at least one Arizona newspaper thinks this is "silly." 

On the positive side, a cross-border group of mayors meets to try to solve shared problems, a young man from Minnesota gets first-hand experience of the border and the people who migrate through its desert. And a Mexican-American professor recieves the National Humanities Medal for "his bold explorations of identity along the border separating the United States and Mexico.""



Immigration Farmers still fighting for immigrant guest-worker program
MiamiHerald.com: "California and Southern farmers urged a House panel to overhaul an existing worker visa program and boost farmers' access to foreign labor. But the farmers face long odds as they seek a guest-worker goal that's eluded them since at least 1995. ... "Experience shows us there is no realistic prospect of a domestic work force for agriculture. We in California have learned the hard way that few Americans seek agricultural jobs."" read more

Illegal immigrants live on edge of society, fearing deportation
GazetteXtra: ""I was lucky," said Ana, who lives in Rock County, Wisconsin. "I've heard terrible stories about what can happen." More than a decade ago, Ana left behind her mother and nine siblings in Puebla, south of Mexico City, to join her husband in the United States. He had crossed the border illegally to work and had planned to return after two years. "It was hard to stay separated from each other," Ana recalled. "I told him that I can come and make money, too."" read more

US to pay $350,000 to settle lawsuit over immigration sweep in Connecticut
AP/Washington Post: "Eleven men who claimed immigration agents violated their rights in 2007 raids on their New Haven neighborhood have won a $350,000 settlement from the U.S. government, which also agreed to halt deportation proceedings against the plaintiffs, their attorneys said Tuesday." read more

Is This Alabama?
Is This Alabama?: "In June 2011 Alabama enacted the most extreme state-level anti-immigrant bill to date. It went into effect in September. Now Hollywood director Chris Weitz has turned the camera on Alabama and is asking “Is This Alabama?” You be the judge. Watch and share the videos."

The Border

Military to bolster presence on border
tucsonsentinel.com: "The military's presence along the Mexican border will be bolstered this month when more troops and equipment are deployed to Southern Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said Thursday. Joint Task Force-North, which oversees military operations along the U.S.-Mexico border, will send additional troops, vehicles and equipment to Arizona and New Mexico in mid-February, the Border Patrol said." read more

Arizona Legislature could fund militia for border
KTAR.com: "The Republican-led Arizona Legislature is considering a bill to fund an armed, volunteer state militia to respond to emergencies and patrol the U.S.-Mexico border. Gov. Jan Brewer could deploy the volunteers using $1.9 million included in the bill making its way through the state Senate. The militia itself was created by a law signed by Brewer last year." read more

Arizona shouldn't fund questionable border militia
azstarnet.com: "The border-militia bill snaking its way through the Legislature sure sends a message: When state lawmakers try to get serious about the U.S.-Mexico border, which is a federal issue, they end up looking pretty silly. ... State Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Republican and one of the bill's sponsors, says, "I don't have any illusion that we can solve our border problem," she said. "But this will help." Yes, it's always helpful to have more armed, slightly trained people on the border. This is just what the border needs." read more

Border mayors strive for united voice
UTSanDiego.com: "The interdependence of U.S. and Mexican border communities was the central theme of a conference Thursday attended by mayors from both countries. Topics such as border infrastructure, economic development and changing negative perceptions about safety in Mexico were highlighted during the meeting of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association. ... Founded last August in El Paso, the group has 17 members; 12 of them attended Tuesday’s meeting — five from the United States and seven from Mexico." read more

Minnesota young man uses EMT training to aid migrants along Mexico border
Daily Globe | Worthington, Minnesota: " Growing up in Worthington, Dan Wilson was acquainted with the controversial issues surrounding immigration. “... I knew people made a lot of sacrifices to do it, and I had also seen some of the reasons for the immigration. ... it was intriguing to me.” So Wilson spent last summer working in the Sonora Desert along the U.S./Mexico border, using his skills as a trained emergency medical technician and witnessing firsthand another aspect of the immigration story." read more

President gives National Humanities Medal to scholar Ramón Saldívar for focus on the border
Stanford University: "In a White House ceremony, President Obama awarded a National Humanities Medal to Stanford literature Professor Ramón Saldívar. His teaching and research, centering on globalization, transnationalism and Chicano studies, were recognized for "his bold explorations of identity along the border separating the United States and Mexico."" read more

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