NDN Blog

Daily Border Bulletin- Unions on Immigration Reform, Promoting Trade with Mexico, and The Rise of Univision

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Unions changing stance on immigration reform- Although the traditional logic has held that unions and migrant labor don’t mix, there are indications that labor unions are now onboard with comprehensive immigration reform.

New program boosts US-Mexico trade- As part of its ongoing effort to strengthen economic ties between the U.S. and Mexico, a delegation from the Department of State is in Mexico City to roll out the newly-created U.S.-Mexico Business Facilitation Program.

Univision grows along with Hispanics- The Hispanic media giant Univision already offers 12 networks, 62 radio stations and 69 local TV stations to the growing group of viewers, and continues to grow.

Daily Border Bulletin- Members Say Immigration Bill Should Come from House, Reid Unveils First 10 Bills, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

HuffPo: Members say immigration bill should come from House- Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), two of the lawmakers working across the aisle on immigration reform, said Tuesday that the White House could hurt the effort by putting forth its own legislation on the issue.

Reid unveils first 10 bills of new Congress- In an effort to lay down a marker for the first phase of their agenda, Senate Democrats have announced the first 10 measures of the new Congress, including anti-school violence proposals and immigration reform legislation.

Villaraigosa: Comprehensive immigration reform is not amnesty- Immigration reform will be a priority in Washington, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is hoping to shape the conversation.

Event Recap: "Perspectives from the U.S.- Mexico Border Region"

On Friday, NDN/New Policy Institute was proud to host our latest in a series of events on the U.S.-Mexico relationship and developments in our border region. This event, titled “Perspectives from the U.S.-Mexico Border Region,” featured a panel of key mayors from the region and focused on opportunities and challenges unique to the border region. For those who missed the event, you can watch CSPAN’s live recording here.

NDN President Simon Rosenberg moderated the discussion, and Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, provided opening remarks. The discussion featured Mayors Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Raul Salinas of Laredo, Ken Miyagishima of Las Cruces, and Eduardo Olmos of Torreon, Mexico. Also present at the event were Mayors John Cook of El Paso, Tony Martinez of Brownsville, Bob Filner of San Diego, and Jonathan Rothschild of Tucson.

Simon introduced the panelists and Alan Bersin, and framed the discussion by emphasizing the great importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship in today’s geopolitical context. “I’ve really come to believe that the most important bi-lateral relationship the U.S. has today is with Mexico,” Simon said.

Bersin delivered opening remarks, stating that “the border is not what it used to be, and the future of the border is not what it used to be,” thanks to great advances in border security. He described the border region as “poised to become a gateway for North American prosperity” due to shared production platforms between the U.S. and Mexico, and urged lawmakers to remember that strengthening the border today should focus on investment in infrastructure and managing cross-border flows.

Mayor Stanton started the panel by saying that mayors will be “where the rubber meets the road” on the effort to bolster the U.S.-Mexico economic relationship. “Shame on us if we don’t take better advantage of the growing economic giant to the south,” he said, adding he feels a responsibility to remind citizens of the importance of this economic relationship, especially in light of the state’s occasionally contentious immigration debate. “In my state, we badly need comprehensive immigration reform,” Stanton said. “We should never let the need for stronger border security get in the way of immigration reform and increasing trade with Mexico.”

Mayor Salinas echoed Mayor Stanton’s call for immigration reform, stating that “El momento es ya—the moment is now—for immigration reform. We’ve been waiting too long.” Salinas called upon Americans to recognize the economic contribution of hardworking immigrants rather than keeping “11 million people in the shadows.” He also stressed the importance of Mexican commerce in Laredo, which is the entry point for up to 12,000 trucks doing trade with Mexico daily. “It is not the American way to turn our back on a nation that is doing so much to help us create jobs,” he said.

Next, Mayor Miyagishima negated media reports that U.S. border cities are insecure, saying that “our cities are safe and open for business.” He described the need to increase border infrastructure, implement a firm but fair immigration policy, and improve economic partnerships between U.S. and Mexican cities. Miyagishima expressed his optimism for the future U.S.-Mexico relationship, saying that we should expect to see more trade with Mexico thanks to the president’s mandate.

Mayor Olmos of Torreon, Mexico, closed the panel by discussing the importance of local and city governments in building security on the southern side of the border. As a mayor from a northeastern Mexican state that shares a border with Texas, Olmos described the Obama administration’s pivotal role in improving security and safety, but emphasized that there remains much work to be done on the Mexican side of the border.

Below please find Assistant Secretary Alan Bersins remarks:

Daily Border Bulletin- Poll Shows Majority Support Legal Status, More Republicans Call for Immigration Changes, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

New poll shows majority support legal status for undocumented immigrants- A majority of Americans favor an immigration reform plan that allows undocumented people to apply for legal status, according to a new poll released Thursday.

More Republicans start calling for immigration changes- A growing number of Republicans and conservative groups have begun pushing for comprehensive immigration changes on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration, joining liberal Democrats in hopes of propelling the politically fraught issue forward early in his second term.

Brewer softens tone on immigration- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s most ardent hard-liners on illegal immigration, is noticeably softening her tone on the issue.

Daily Border Bulletin- NYTimes: Rubio Outlines Elements of New Immigration Plan, Mayors Discuss Immigration Reform, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Rubio outlines elements of his new immigration plan- Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a Republican who is on a talking tour to publicize his proposals for an immigration overhaul, said on Thursday that tighter enforcement at the borders and in workplaces would be central to his plan, which would also offer legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

Mayors discuss immigration reform- If a Thursday session to talk about immigration issues is any indication, the Obama administration can expect to hear from dissatisfied mayors as it pushes for a broad reform of the laws.

Changes proposed for guest worker program- With immigration policy now a top priority of the Obama administration, advocates for comprehensive reform are urging lawmakers to improve the country’s foreign guest worker programs, a system that critics say is equally dysfunctional and leads to abuse.

CSPAN to Feature 21st Century Border Initiative Event Today at 4pm

Today, CSPAN will feature NDN/NPI's 21st Century Border Initiative as we host our latest event, titled "Perspectives from the US-Mexico Border Region." A live video of the event and more information from CSPAN can be found here.

The event, which begins at 4:00 pm and will be broadcast live starting at 4:15 pm, will include in-depth commentary from the following border mayors:

Eduardo Olmos, Mayor of Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico
Raul G. Salinas, Mayor of Laredo, TX
Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, AZ
Ken Miyagishima, Mayor of Las Cruces, NM

Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, will deliver opening remarks. The mayors will be sharing their views on trade and economic development, immigration reform and the security challenges unique to the border region.

The discussion will take place at NDN's event space, just a block from the White House, at 729 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC at 4:00 p.m. Please RSVP here, and we look forward to seeing you this afternoon!

President Obama's Gun Announcement, Straw Purchasers and the Southwest Border

President Obama called upon Congress today to take a stand against gun violence, announcing plans to introduce legislation that will ban some assault weapons, limit high capacity magazines, expand background checks for arms purchasers, and establish new gun trafficking laws.

Straw purchasing, wherein a buyer sells a firearm to an unauthorized individual, contributes greatly to gun trafficking to Mexico. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has consistently found that the overwhelming majority of firearms recovered at crime scenes and traced by Mexican officials originate in the United States. These guns in turn fuel much of Mexico’s brutal cartel violence, which has led to the death of roughly 50,000 Mexicans since 2006.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), plans to re-introduce legislation that will hold gun dealers accountable for selling firearms to straw purchasers and gun traffickers. Today, Rep. Schiff voiced his support for the President’s outline of how to reduce gun violence in the United States. He also announced his intention to re-introduce legislation to crack down on straw purchasers in the 113th Congress:

 “As the President described, this requires a multifaceted approach, including universal background checks, making sure we keep better mental health records, banning high capacity ammunition clips, and reinstating and improving the Assault Weapons Ban. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the House Gun Violence Task Force to move gun violence prevention legislation through Congress, including a bill I am introducing to ensure that victims of gun violence have the same rights to hold gun makers and gun sellers accountable for negligence, and reintroducing legislation I authored last session to crack down on straw purchasers of guns who assist others in illegally obtaining weapons without background checks.”

From the President’s Plan: We also must create serious punishments for gun trafficking. Today, criminals can easily buy guns from unlicensed dealers, or acquire them with the help of so-called “straw purchasers” who pass the required background check to buy guns from licensed dealers. But there is no explicit law against straw purchasing, so straw purchasers and others who traffic guns can often only be prosecuted for paperwork violations. We cannot allow those who help put guns into the hands of criminals to get away with just a slap on the wrist. Congress should close these loopholes with new gun trafficking laws that impose serious penalties for these crimes.

The President and Congressman Schiff’s plan to identify and prosecute straw purchasers is common sense that will promote the goals of already-established initiatives. The Multiple Sales Reporting (MSR) program, a new initiative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), combats firearms trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico facilitated by straw purchasers. From approximately mid-August 2011 through mid-April 2012, there were more than 3,000 multiple sales reports submitted from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. During the same period, ATF opened more than 120 criminal investigations based on multiple sales reports, more than 25 of which have been recommended for prosecution. If Congress follows the President’s recommendation and closes existing loopholes with new gun trafficking laws, multiple sales and consequent firearms trafficking should see a marked decline in the coming years.

Daily Border Bulletin- WH Hopeful for Bipartisan Deal on Immigration, Cites Rubio; US Depends on Mexico for Exports; and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

White House hopeful for bipartisan deal on immigration, cites Rubio- The Obama administration suggested Tuesday that there are signs that bipartisan cooperation might be possible on immigration reform, in light of some new ideas being championed by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.).

U.S. depends on Mexico for exports- Surprising to many Americans is the importance of the United States’ trade with Mexico. While Asia captures the headlines, U.S. exports to Mexico are double those to China, and second only to Canada.

Cohn: A new GOP begins, and ends, with immigration reform- After President Obama’s historic performance among Hispanic voters helped him win reelection, establishment Republicans suddenly came around on immigration reform.

Daily Border Bulletin- Napolitano Stays at DHS, Evangelicals Join Push for Immigration Reform, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Napolitano stays at DHS- Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will remain at her post during President Obama’s second term, a development that could have implications for the debate over immigration reform

Evangelicals join push for immigration reform- Some of the nation’s best-known evangelical pastors and religious figures launched a broad effort on Monday to support immigration reform and get Congress to pass legislation.

Villaraigosa: GOP has “poisoned the well” on immigration reform- Comprehensive immigration reform needs to be done comprehensivelysays Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Daily Border Bulletin- Obama Will Seek Citizenship Path in One Fast Push, Rubio Lays Out Immigration Proposal, and more

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

NYTimes: Obama will seek citizenship path in one fast push- President Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, senior administration officials and lawmakers said last week.

Rubio lays out proposal to "modernize" immigration- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is laying out elements of his proposal to reform the immigration system, which he pitches as much-needed modernization for the outdated system.

Agents take mother of immigration activist in home raid- Erika Andiola spent hours Friday speaking to immigration officials to keep her own mother in the country. She prevented her deportation in the nick of time.

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