Fixing Our Broken Immigration System

Since 2007, NDN has a demonstrated commitment to achieving a sensible immigration system that reflects the needs of the 21st century. NDN began to fight for reform by investing in a Spanish-language radio and television media campaign designed to counter anti-immigrant campaigns.  In addition to reaching out to media outlets, NDN has regularly hosted forums with members of Congress to discuss proposals to fix our current broken immigration system. Through research and polling, conducted most recently among voters in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico, NDN has found that a majority of Americans support a legislative overhaul to fix the broken immigration system, as opposed to passing limited enforcement measures.  

Below, please find some past highlights of our work on immigration reform:



NDN's Immigration Blog

2010 Highlights

Senator Robert Menendez's Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 Summary

NDN Statement on New Immigration Framework

Immigration Reform Enters a New Phase by Simon Rosenberg

Commentary on Arizona Bill by Alicia Menendez

2009 Highlights

Presentation: Making the Case for Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform this Year

7 Reasons Why Congress Should Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform this Year by Simon Rosenberg

Video: Simon Rosenberg makes his case on why congress should pass CIR

Event: Politics & Policy: What to Expect from the Immigration Debate

Video: NDN Forum on Immigration Reform

The Census and Immigration Reform by Simon Rosenberg

Senator Kennedy and CIR by Andres Ramirez

2007 - 2008 Highlights

Event: "Immigration Reform and the Next Administration" - at the DNC in Denver

Polling: Immigration Polling in battleground states

A Responsible Immigration Policy by Simon Rosenberg

Can Democrats Seize the Opportunity the Immigration Debate Offers Them? by Simon Rosenberg

Event: NDN Bicameral Event for CIR


DHS Deporting Criminal Immigrants, Presidentials engage hispanics, while Mexico’s Economy Grows

After promising to target criminal immigrants the Department of Homeland Security yesterday utilizes 1,900 ICE agents to arrest 3,000 criminal immigrants, several key swing states have seen upsurges in Hispanic populations prompting both parties to increase efforts to woo this group. 

The Mexican Central Bank foresees weakness in the economy. American businesses expand in Mexico, President Calderon is recognized by the Council of the Americas,  after initially signaling that she would attend, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has dropped out of U.S. Mexico Border Governors conference,

The Associated Press – U.S. Mexico Governors Conference languishes - This year only one American Governor attended this key international conference.

The Washington Post – After promising to target criminals, DHS announces arrests of thousands of criminal immigrants -  ”After months of complaints from immigrant advocates, the Obama administration promised in August that immigration authorities would start focusing their scarce resources on finding and deporting serious criminals, and largely leave alone immigrants whose only offense was crossing the border illegally.”

The Wall Street Journal – Hispanics Rise In Key States -  Key swing states like Florida and Nevada have seen huge growth in their Hispanic populations causing an increase in interest from both parties in currying favor with this important voting bloc.

Despite Violence, U.S. Firms Expand in Mexico: American businesses respond to growth in Mexican economy and begin to invest long term in Mexico.

President Calderon Receives Gold Insigne Award: The Council of the Americas presented Mexican President Felipe Calderon the Gold Insigne, the organization’s highest honor.

Agustín Carstens Shares Views on the Economy: The President of the Mexican Central Bank says the world economy will remain weak for the next three to five years.

Legislation That Makes Sense: The Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2011

NDN/NPI is committed to advancing the idea of the 21st Century Border, the region between Mexico and the United States, is fast becoming one of tremendous commerce and job creation not just for states along the border, but for the nation as a whole.

Yesterday Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva dropped the Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2011.

While this legislations main emphasis is on Arizona ports of entry, this legislation also has national implications. 80% of trade with mexico comes at ports of entry so investment in ports in Arizona is an investment for the nation.

The Government of Mexico has a a handy map which shows that Approximately 235,700 jobs in Arizona rely on trade with Mexico, that number is 252,800 in Michigan, 249,000 in Nebraska and 119,000 in Ohio – states that benefit directly from effective transportation and infrastructure at the border. The legislation would:

Establishes the United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) to strengthen border economic development and commerce

Establishes a Port Security and Trade Facilitation grant to expand trusted shipper program access to small and medium-sized businesses

Fully funds the expansion and modernization projects at the San Luis I and Douglas ports of entry

Adds 500 CBP officers to Arizona’s land ports of entry

Establishes a Border Small Business Revitalization grant program to stimulate employment opportunities and capital investment in border communities

Mandates that at least 30 percent of labor for any federal contract or subcontract is performed by a local subcontractor

In the release provided for the legislation Congressman Grijalva noted that:

"American jobs rely on a smart, modern economy with the infrastructure to match. This is a realistic, necessary upgrade to our local and national business model, and there’s no reason to oppose the jobs this would create or the opportunities this would open up. I listened to Southern Arizona when I was writing this bill, and I believe this is the right way forward for our community and our country."

News from above and below the Rio Bravo: Border rhetoric popped, Border arrests fall, Mexican insecurity perceptions debunked

In an effort to highlight the intermestic relationship between Mexico and the United States we will begin highlighting news stories from both countries.The natural dividing line between our two countries is the Rio Bravo, so we are featuring domestic stories, as coming from above and below the Rio Bravo:

News from above:

A report highlights some of the creative fantasies on the border put forth in the GOP debates, another focuses on the drop in the number of undocumented immigrants trying to get into the country, finally E-Verify may not get out of the House.

USA Today - Editorial: Immigration rhetoric disconnected from reality - "If Rick Perry's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination weren't so hell-bent on proving who can be the harshest and least thoughtful on the subject of illegal immigrants, they could learn something from the Texas governor."

The Wall Street Journal - The Illegal Immigration Collapse - Border arrests have fallen by a third in two years. - Highlights how enhanced border enforcement and a weak U.S. economy has resulted in the lowest level of undocumented immigrants entering the U.S. since the 1970s.

USA Today - House Immigration Status Check Bill Faces A Tough Road -   With complaints about accuracy of a program designed to fine employers over hiring undocumented immigrants, the GOP is divided over passage of E-Verify legislation.

News from below:

Latino business leaders recognize the adverse effects of anti-immigration legislation. Survey identifies discrepancies in perceptions of insecurity in Mexico. Economic turmoil in Europe affects U.S. – Mexico economic relations.

U.S. Hispanic chamber means business: During their 32nd annual convention Latino business leaders recognized the repercussions of Arizona’s anti-immigration laws on the states businesses.

Tourists are more worried about traffic than insecurity: A survey of national and international tourism into Mexico City reveals both Mexican and foreign tourists are more worried about traffic than insecurity.

Peso Bonds Slump in Split from Treasuries amid Greek Crisis: Mexico Credit: Europe’s debt crisis has broken the lockstep in trends between U.S. Treasuries and their counterpart, Mexican bonds.


Undocumented Immigration Levels Lowest Since the 70's, Pearce recall heats up, GOP debate tough talk on immigration

News that current immigration levels are at the lowest they have been since 1972 has left pundits wondering if the GOP should move on from their border is a war zone rhetoric, meanwhile SB1070 mastermind Russell Pearce recall race heats up as criticism of how his anti-immigrant policies have affected the states economy are growing,  and finally Rick Perry's "moderate stance on immigration has shown a light on the more extreme views of others in the Republican presidential primaries.

Washington Post - Figures say GOP should declare victory on immigration - "Final numbers won’t be available for a few more days, it appears that captures of illegal border crossers will be in the range of 325,000 for fiscal 2011. That is down 50 percent since 2008; 70 percent since 2006; and 80 percent since 2000, when 1.6 million undocumented immigrants were picked up after crossing the border."

Arizona Republic - Pearce has damaged Ariz. economy -
Examines the coloration between State Senator Russell Pearce statements and actions ahead of his recall race in Arizona's 18th legislative district.

NPR - Will Tough Talk On Immigration Repel Latino Voters? - Highlights the tight rope walk that many republican nominees face as they try to balance Tea Party extremism with the need to reach out to Hispanic Voters.

Carlos Bustamonte, Mayor Of Tijuana Mexico on the importance of cross-border commerce

NDN/NPI are working to advance efforts to build a diverse and vibrant border economy, as such we have gone out into states along the border to talk to local elected officials on both sides of the border. Below is our interview with Carlos Bustamante, Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico.

Also Be sure to visit our 21st Century Border YouTube page, where you can see a collection of more than 50 videos of 20 leaders from both sides of the border talking about their experiences in improving the border region. Our videos include regional mayors and sheriffs, and US and Mexican government officials.

Mayor Bustamonte on the relationship Between Tijuana and San Diego

Mayor Bustamonte on revolving door economies

Mayor Bustamonte on The $6 Billion Mexican Tourists Spend In San Diego

Mayor Bustamonte on the Importance Of The Two Cities One Region Program

For more videos please go to our 21st Century Border YouTube page

From Pesos to Dollars: The Intermestic Relationship Beyond the U.S.- Mexico Exchange Rate

The ties between Mexico and the United States run deep. As such Mexico is particularly susceptible to commotion in the U.S. economy. Since 1994, Mexico has maintained a floating exchange rate, meaning that the value of its currency is mostly determined by market demand, and on Thursday the value of the peso plummeted to 14.20 pesos to the dollar.

Whenever the value of the peso decreases relative to that of the dollar the consequences are felt on both sides of the border.

On one hand, if you are earning dollars, you can suddenly buy more pesos with your same dollars. Living in the United States, you don’t usually buy pesos directly, but American businesses that buy Mexican products can now buy them more cheaply, passing on the savings to the consumer.

On the other hand, if you are a Mexican exporter to the United States, your products have suddenly become cheaper, allowing you to better compete against American domestic producers, and other global exporters, thus increasing profits and helping Mexico’s economy develop.

However, only about 30% of Mexico’s GDP comes from exports, and individuals outside the export sector of the economy are likely to see prices for American goods increase steadily. Although it is difficult to tease out the consequences of such fluctuations in exchange rates, the integration of our economies is undeniable.

Thanks to Dante Perez for his contributions to this post.

Champions of Change: Nogales mayor hopes D.C. visit opened eyes to border

NDN/NPI are working to advance efforts to build a diverse and vibrant border economy.  Last week twenty-three leaders from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California joined us in Washington to be honored at the White House for their work in creating economic opportunity on the US side of our common border with Mexico.

Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino talked to Austin Counts of The Nogales International about his trip to D.C.:

Garino said he told administration officials that additional government investment at Arizona's ports of entry anda stronger trade relationship between U.S. and Mexico could play a crucial role in the future of Nogales and the nation.

"What (the officials) are looking for is how they can serve and help the border region," Garino said Monday. "Not everyone understands the problems along the border."

Mayor Ken Miyagishima of Las Cruces, N.M. and Mayor Tony Martinez of Brownsville, Texas also participated in the discussion that came as part of the Champions of Change meeting at the White House on Friday.

The full story can be read here

Kristian Ramos on Fox talking about Governor Perry, The DREAM Act and Border Security

The anchor on Fox references a shooting of an American in Texas during the above segment, this is factually untrue. The jet ski shooting brought up in the segment occurred on the Mexican side of the border, and to this day authorities are unsure of what actually occurred. Talking Points Memo has a great write up here.

Champions of Change from the Southwest Border Region

NDN/NPI are working to advance efforts to build a diverse and vibrant border economy.  Last week twenty-three leaders from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California joined us in Washington to be honored at the White House for their work in creating economic opportunity on the US side of our common border with Mexico.

The White House Champions of Change initiative profiles Americans from all walks of life who are helping the country rise to the challenges of the 21st century. These Champions of Change are doing extraordinary things in their communities to innovate, educate and build a better America. Participants included:

Mayor Arturo Garino, Nogales, Arizona
Mayor Tony Martinez, Office of the Mayor, Brownsville, Texas
Mayor Ken Miyagishima, Las Cruces, New Meixco

Miguel Conchas, Laredo Chamber of Commerce, Laredo, Texas
Jose Gonzalez, Laredo Licensed U.S. Customs Brokers Association, Laredo, Texas
Akos Kovach, Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization, Bisbee, Arizona
Mark McCausland, Ultramain Systems, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Susan McCausland, Ultramain Systems, Albuquerque, New Mexico
John Munoz, Las Cruces Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Melissa Agudelo, High Tech High, San Diego, California
Clifford Boro, Video Egg/KidZui, San Diego, Caifornia
Carl Colonius, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico
Suara Naderi, Calit2 at UCSD, Del Mar, California
Brett Peterson, High Tech High, Sand Diego, California
Students from High Tech High, San Diego, California

Department of Transportation Panel and Discussion Trucking and Public-Private Partnerships
Katie Thomson, Secretary's Counsel; Bill Quade, FMCSA Associate Administrator; Jake Falk, Director of Public-Private Partnerships led a conversation about the importance of commerce along the Southwest Border region and some of the issues that hare facing our ports of entry.

Champions of Change Roundtable
The Champions of Change met with Carlos Monje Jr. Special Assistant to the President, Laura Marquez, Senior Advisor, International Trade Administration and Maria Luisa O'Connell, Senior Advisor for Trade and Public Engagement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. While there the Champions of Change were formally recognized for their efforts to create new jobs, prepare the work force, and build their local economies

Leveraging Community Assets to Drive Investment
Assistant Secretary John Fernandez, Economic Development Administration, US Department of Commerce spoke about the federal government is working to create more public private partnerships to help grow the American economy.

Customs and Border Protection/DHS Discussion Border Security and Trade/Ports of Entry
Commisioner Alan Bersin, DHS Customs and Border Protection led a discusion on how the border has become safer while delving into issues that still face the border, and the importance of the U.S. Mexico region.

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