Hispanic / Latino

Press Clips: “A Look at the US-Mexico Border Region”

NDN/NPI held a lunchtime discussion with leaders from the border region and a day of private meetings with senior administration officials, about the challenges and opportunities leaders in the US-Mexico border region are facing today. Below are a handful of press clips.

Gary Martin – San Antonio Express “Border Sheriffs Refute GOP Claims of Border War Zone

Robert Moore - El Paso Times - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: Border tactics OK for now

United Press International - Napolitano: Border plans must be sustained

Ildefonso Ortiz - The Monitor - Politicians, law enforcement clash over spillover violence

Erica Proffer - KRGV Rio Grande Valley, Texas - Hidalgo County Sheriff Returning From Trip to Nation’s Capitol

Robert Moore - Alamagordo Daily News - Napolitano says focus on sustaining border efforts

George Gale - KXO Radio - Calexico Mayor and Police Chief in Nation's Capital

For more on our work visit our new site, www.21border.com.  Check back there for more clips as we get ‘em. 


Daily Border Bulletin: Secretary Napolitano and Border Law Enforcement Officials - Border Strategy Is Working

NDN and the New Policy Institute welcomed a delegation of officials from the US side of the southwest border region. At meetings at NDN/NPI and in the White House, the delegation met with representatives from the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Office of Public Engagement and the Departments of State, Commerce and Homeland Security. Those meetings included a one hour session with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano.

Secretary Napolitano talked to news outlets after the meeting:  "One of the things that has happened in the past in the border is you would get a surge of effort for a few months or what have you, and then once the numbers started to turn around, the manpower would be withdrawn or the technology would be shifted around," she said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C.

Napolitano hosted a White House round table discussion earlier Wednesday with border law-enforcement leaders from California and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

"And what we spoke about this morning in our meeting at the White House, and I think the local officials who were there made it very clear, is that this requires continued, sustained involvement and true partnership between federal agents and local police officers and sheriff's deputies," she said.

In another conversation with the press she noted: Electioneering tends to focus on border security and illegal immigration, pushing border commerce to the background, she said.

"Yes, it can be drowned out during a political year, but for those of us who know the border, who've lived on the border, it's just a clarion call to us to speak even more affirmatively about that area of the country and what's been going on there and give a more honest impression," said Napolitano.

Later on in the day NDN held a public event with Congressmen Reyes and Cuellar and a panel of border sheriffs and police chiefs.  At the event border local law enforcement officials directly refuted the notion that the border was a war zone:

"South Texas law enforcement officials and Democratic congressmen said claims by Republicans that the border has become a war zone were untrue and unfairly painted the border region as drenched in cartel violence. “The border is not in chaos,” said Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño. “We are not at ‘Ground Zero.'”

The accounts of the border being a war zone also fly in the face of all other statistical evidence:

"According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, the number of homicides reported in Hidalgo County in 2010 was considerably less than in other major metropolitan areas of Texas. In 2010, 36 homicides were reported throughout the county. That same year, Houston reported 269 homicides, Dallas reported 148, San Antonio reported 79, and Austin reported 38."

“There are horrible things happening in Mexico, but that stops at the river,” Treviño said. “U.S. authorities working together stop it at the river.”

For more on the event click here and here. For more on NDN/NPI’s work in this area, visit our new website, www.21border.com, and its YouTube site, http://www.youtube.com/21stcenturyborder, which features dozens of videos of leaders from the border region talking about the very real challenges and opportunities they face.

Congresspeople & Law Enforcement Officials Discuss Opportunities & Challenges in the Border Region

NDN and the New Policy Institute welcomed a delegation of officials from the US side of the southwest border region. At meetings at NDN/NPI and in the White House, the delegation met with representatives from the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Office of Public Engagement and the Departments of State, Commerce and Homeland Security.

For the public portion of the day we were joined by Texas border Congressman Silvestre Reyes and Henry Cuellar for a panel discussion featuring local law enforcement officials from the region, on the successes and the challenges that leaders from the region are facing.

Congressman Reyes noted: "Every time the words war zone are used, we lose business opportunities throughout the U.S.-Mexico border. New businesses and investors are always looking for places to set up shop. Our region has one of the most affordable costs of living and our culture, people, weather and location makes us perfect for many expansions and starts ups."

 “The border is not in chaos,we are not at ‘Ground Zero,” Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino stated echoing Congressman Reyes comments

Congressman Cuellar also felt that the rhetoric around border violence is overstated: “The Coast Guard’s analysis provides concrete, factual information that indicates that our communities north of the Rio Grande border are safe,” said Congressman Cuellar. “We must continue working with law enforcement agencies at every level of government to make sure that our communities continue to enjoy these safety levels and at the same time, ensure that our men and women in law enforcement are trained and equipped to continue doing the invaluable work they do to keep our borders safe.”

The Laredo Congressman also focused on the need to improve the infrastructure of the border in order  to create a better integrated region, noting that the outdated ports of entry have stifled business flow: “It’s a 14th century solution to a 21st century problem.” Cuellar went on to say that what was needed was more investment in the ports of entry as well as better disbursement of funds to local law enforcement officials who often have to deal with the problems of long wait times and other problems associated with the region.

“Our goal today is to let leaders from the border region tell their story in their own words,” said NDN/NPI President Simon Rosenberg. “While there are clear challenges in the region, a great deal of progress had been made in recent years. Crime on the US side of the border has dropped, illegal migration has slowed, seizures of bulk cash, illegal guns and drugs have increased and trade with Mexico is expanding. Mexico is now the 2nd largest export market for American goods, and our third largest trading partner. Trade with Mexico now equals trade with the UK, Germany and Japan combined, and no region in America benefits more from this remarkable flow of trade than our border region with Mexico.”

For a full list of all of the attendees, meetings and background materials please click here and here

Daily Border Bulletin: Hispanics to the rescue in small towns, AL locals in arms over immigration law, more drones on border

Hispanics Reviving Faded Towns on the Plains: As the anglo population of many midwest cities have begun to dwindle Hispanic's have begun to move in. "That demographic shift, seen in the findings of the 2010 census, has not been uniformly welcomed in places where steadiness and tradition are seen as central charms of rural life. Some longtime residents of Ulysses, where the population of 6,161 is now about half Hispanic, grumble over the cultural differences and say they feel like strangers in their hometown. But the alternative, community leaders warn, is unacceptable. “We’re either going to change or we’re going to die,” said Thadd Kistler, a lifelong resident who recently stepped down as mayor. “This is Ulysses now, this is the United States now, this immigration is happening and the communities that are extending a hand are going to survive.”

Editorial: On the Rise in Alabama:  A state passed immigration law in Alabama raises the spectre of the distant civil rights struggle. "But if there is any place where bigotry does not go unrecognized, it is Alabama.  “It is a fear of folks who are not like us,” said Judge U. W. Clemon, a former state senator and Alabama’s first black federal judge, now retired. “Although the Hispanic population of the state is less than 5 percent, the leaders of the state were hell-bent on removing as much of that 4 percent as possible. And I think they’ve been fairly successful in scaring them out of the state of Alabama.”

US uses more unmanned aircraft to secure border: The federal government continues to work to create a safer and more dynamic southwest border region. The Department of Homeland Security has begun using additional Predator B unmaned aircrafts to monitor our border with Mexico. "Last week's mission was just another night out for a Predator program that is playing a larger role in border security as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection adds to its force of unmanned aircraft. The agency received its second Predator B aircraft in Texas last month and will add its sixth overall on the Southwest border when another is based in Arizona by the end of the year. The aircraft are credited with apprehending more than 7,500 people since they were deployed six years ago. They bring the latest in military technology to one of the oldest cat-and-mouse pursuits in the country. But on the border, even sophisticated devices struggle with the weather and conditions — just as humans do."

21st Century Border Video Spotlight: Guadalupe Trevino, Sheriff of Hidalgo County, Texas

Ahead of our event, "A Look at the US-Mexico Border Region," on Wednesday, November 16, we recommend watching the following video featuring the Sheriff of Hidalgo County Texas Guadalupe Trevino.

Guadalupe "Lupe" Trevino is Sheriff of Hidalgo County, Texas. He currently serves on the State of Texas Homeland Security Office Mass Migration Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Texas Radio Interoperability Coalition.  In this video Sheriff Trevino discusses how the border is much safer then political figures would have you believe

For more on our work, including our recent events with DHS Secretary Napolitano, Mexican Ambassador Sarukhan, Governor Bill Richardson and many others, visit here.  See also our new You Tube site which features video of dozens of leaders from both sides of the Mexican border.

Background Information for Event: Wed, Nov 16th – “A Look at the US-Mexico Border Region"

Please join NDN/NPI on Wednesday, November 16, for a lunchtime discussion about the challenges and opportunities leaders in the US-Mexico border region are facing today. Joining us will be a terrific set of elected officials and law enforcement officials, all from the region, including:

Congressman Silvestre Reyes of El Paso, Texas
Congressman Henry Cuellar of Laredo, Texas
Police Chief Adolfo Gonzales of National City, California
Police Chief Carlos R. Maldanado of Laredo, Texas
Sheriff Lupe Trevino, of Hidalgo County, Texas

NDN is advancing the notion that through additional resources, better and smarter strategy, and greater cooperation with Mexico, our government, along with its partners along the border had made the region safer, the immigration system better, and commerce and trade between the US and Mexico more robust. While we cannot deny that much work remains to bring greater prosperity and security to the region, tremendous progress has been made, and this progress needs to be acknowledged and built upon.

This is the latest in a series of events hosted by NDN/NPI, which has included dozens of leaders from the border region and the most senior government officials in Washington.  More on our program can be found on our new web site, 21border.com.  We encourage you to read the following to help contextualize the issues raised at our event:

On Guns and Violence In the Border Region – More To Do by Simon Rosenberg 11/3/2001
SPEECH: Smart Effective Border Security and Immigration Enforcement by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano October/5/2011
SPEECH: Fixing the Immigration System for America’s 21st Century Economy by President Barack Obama 5/10/2011
The U.S. – Mexico Border Strategy Is Working by Simon Rosenberg 3/1/2011
NDN REPORT: The Governments Border Strategy Is Working by Kristian Ramos 2/1/2011
Declaration by The Government Of The United States Of America and The Government Of The United Mexican States Concerning Twenty-First Century Border Management 5/19/2011
Arturo Sarukhan & Alan Bersin Address on a 21st Century Border 5/28/2010

Seating is limited, so please RSVP today to reserve your spot. Lunch will be served at noon, and the program will begin at 12:15pm. All of this will take place at NDN’s offices on 729 15th Street, NW on the 1st floor.

Daily Border Bulletin - Legal defense of AZ law tops $2 million, AL Gov. Immigration law hard to enforce, and more

Arizona spends little over 2 million in legal fees defending SB1070: Days after SB1070 mastermind Russel Pearce lost his recall election, it has been revealed that Arizona has spent a little over $2 million  in defending the anti-immigrant law.  "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office says the state has now spent just over $2 million of donated money in its legal defense of the 2010 immigration enforcement law known as SB1070.  Brewer's office says that's the total spending after an expenditure of nearly $500,000 for legal fees incurred by a Phoenix law firm in the 10 months through September. "

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley Says New Immigration Law Must be Simplified:  Alabama's immigration law has been touted the toughest in the nation, it is also appearently the most confusing.  Much of the problems associated with any state passed immigration law comes from how best to implement them.  From a very basic municipal level, thesee laws create fissures in everyday activity. The Governor of Alabama is finding this out the hard way. "Alabama's immigration law has plenty of critics. But you wouldn't expect one of them to be the man who signed the measure into law. Gov. Robert Bentley, who still firmly supports the law's objective to crack down on illegal immigration, wants the Legislature to simplify the state's tough new immigration law that has been challenged in court, with some of its provisions put on hold by a judge. The Legislature passed the law in late June with the Republican governor's approval and it took effect in late September. "We did pass a very complicated bill," Bentley told the Birmingham Business Alliance "

Feds Ask Supreme Court To Stay Away From AZ Immigration Law:  The federal government has asked the Supreme Court not to take up a law suit from Arizona over the enforcement of SB1070. "The U.S. Justice Department asked the Supreme Court  Thursday to leave be a lawsuit involving Arizona's controversial immigration law, claiming that lower courts have already blocked tough provisions targeting undocumented immigrants. The state law is a challenge to federal policy and is designed to establish Arizona's own immigration policy, the department's solicitor general said in a filing with the justices. Arizona says the law is an effort to cooperate with the federal government."

Also please be sure to join NDN and the New Policy Institute on Wednesday, November 16th for a lunchtime discussion about the challenges and opportunities leaders in the US-Mexico border region are facing today. Joining us will be a terrific set of elected officials and law enforcement officials, all from the region. Seating is limited, so please RSVP today to reserve your spot. Lunch will be served at noon, and the program will begin at 12:15pm.  All of this will take place at NDN’s offices on 729 15th Street, NW on the 1st floor.


Daily Border Bulletin - Holder's FF testimony in full, AZ favors pathway to citizenship, "why Americans wont do dirty jobs"

Attorney General testimony before Congress touches on Fast Furious program: Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the Senate Judiciary committee for an oversight hearing on Monday his full testimony can be seen here. In his testimony he takes the time to elaborate on the flaws inherent in gun walking, and the need to stop guns from flowing from the United States into Mexican drug cartels:  "I want to be clear: any instance of so-called “gun walking” is unacceptable. Regrettably, this tactic was used as part of Fast and Furious, which was launched to combat gun trafficking and violence on our Southwest Border. This operation was flawed in concept, as well as in execution. And, unfortunately, we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crimes scenes both here and in Mexico. This should never have happened. And it must never happen again."

Poll shows Arizonans favor an overhaul of our immigration system:  An Arizona State University poll shows that 78 percent of Arizonans favor reform of our federal immigration system which gives undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. "The poll by ASU's Morrison Institute for Public Policy found that 78 percent of Arizonans would support legislation letting longtime undocumented immigrants become citizens if they also paid a fine, passed criminal background checks, paid taxes and show they can speak English."

Alabama has jobs. trouble is, Americans don't want them: A story examines how the exodus of immigrant workers from Alabama has left many jobs open, with no Americans filling the positions: "There’s no shortage of people he could give those jobs to. In Alabama, some 211,000 people are out of work. In rural Perry County, where Harvest Select is located, the unemployment rate is 18.2 percent, twice the national average. One of the big selling points of the immigration law was that it would free up jobs that Republican Governor Robert Bentley said immigrants had stolen from recession-battered Americans. Yet native Alabamians have not come running to fill these newly liberated positions. Many employers think the law is ludicrous and fought to stop it. Immigrants aren’t stealing anything from anyone, they say. Businesses turned to foreign labor only because they couldn’t find enough Americans to take the work they were offering."

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