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Sat June 8, 2013
Best Of the Border (6/3-6/7)
While politicians in Washington debate immigration reform and the need for enhanced border security, many who live and work along the border are concerned with something else: inefficient and costly wait times at ports of entry.
Trucker Alejandro Rivera transports goods from factories in Cuidad Juarez to distribution centers in El Paso. On a recent work day, it took five hours for a load of plastic mannequins to cross the border and be delivered.
Chris Wilson of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. explains, ""These big lines have economic costs. Billions of dollars a year in lost growth for the United States and Mexico."
At our southern border time is money. The United States and Mexico trade more than a billion dollars in goods every day. All that commerce comes through land crossings that spread from California to Texas. The problem is once that commercial traffic reaches the border, it runs into long bottlenecks that result in costly delays.
Just how expensive? A study by Bloomberg calculated that delays at the border cost the U.S. economy $7.8 billion in 2011.
More than 400,000 people were deported from the U.S. last year, and many ended up in border cities like Tijuana. Adrian Florido looks at how quickly these deportees can slide into homelessness and vagrancy, as they try to navigate a new city with little funds or support. Tijuana police say that deportees are responsible for much of the city's crime, and they often harass and arrest the deportees.
A new report from University of Arizona researchers find that, while apprehensions of illegal border crossers are way down, the numbers of death in the desert have remained constant over the past few years. That means migrants crossing the border into Arizona in 2012, for example, were twice as likely to die as they were in 2009.
A landfill in southern New Mexico, rumored to be the final resting place of the 1982 Atari video game "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial", is about to be excavated. The big dig is part of a Canadian television company's attempt to unearth the legendary game.
For more Fronteras Desk news, visit fronterasdesk.org.