Fronteras: A Changing America

2014 Domenici Public Policy Conference: Dr. Joel Brenner

Sep 25, 2014



During our road trip along the U.S./Mexico border, we took a walk along the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas. You can look right into Mexico and the heart of Ciudad Juarez across the river. Monique Ortiz Uribe brought us here. She's a reporter with public radio's Fronteras desk, which covers the border, and she pointed out a gray office building.

MONIQUE ORTIZ URIBE: See, that's city hall inside Juarez in Mexico, and to our right we can see the international bridge that connects the two cities of El Paso and Juarez.

A Conversation With Poet Levi Romero

Nov 12, 2013
Spencer Herrera

Poet Levi Romero’s latest work can be found in Sagrado: A Photopoetics across the Chicano Homeland published by UNM Press.  Sagrado is a collection of essays, poems, and images that takes the reader on a journey across the Chicana/o southwest U.S., authored by Spencer Herrera, with photographs by Robert Kaiser and poetry by Romero. 

NMSU Borderlands Center For Educational Studies

Oct 23, 2013

Michelle Valverde's O'Donnell Hall office is filled with a medley of items reflecting her community outreach work at NMSU. There's the laminated paper wheel she has used in workshops, explaining to parents the components of equal opportunity to learn. Then there's the colorful pictures drawn by children she's worked with. Books and other reference materials fill the shelves. Boxes containing more teaching materials are lined up against one wall.

TUCSON, Ariz. - At least 12 activists were arrested Friday morning in Tucson after they chained themselves to buses full of people awaiting a deportation hearing. The effort shut down the government's deportation hearings for the day.

The buses en route to the federal courthouse carried 70 immigrants who had crossed the border illegally. They were caught up in a daily mass deportation program called Operation Streamline.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of SW. N.M. - Dr. Katherine Souza

Oct 11, 2013

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of SW. N.M. - Dr. Katherine Souza

Grand Canyon National Park is closed for the government shutdown, but tourists determined to see it can take in views from reservation land. The Hualapai Tribe owns Grand Canyon West, where visitors can venture onto a Plexiglas horseshoe walkway that stretches out over the chasm below.

On the east side of the Grand Canyon, visitors are flocking to the Navajo Nation, where Nita Rodriguez gives a tour.

SAN ANTONIO - The training of new Border Patrol agents is at a standstill due to the federal government shutdown.

As a stalemated Congress delays voting on funding the government, many of the offices as the Border Patrol Training Facility in Artesia, N.M., are closed due to furloughs. The training of new Border Patrol agents has ceased. About 350 trainees have been sent home and will not return until the shutdown is over.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - At about 12:30 in the morning, Barbara Bacon starts her car. She's heading downtown, to Albuquerque's Greyhound bus terminal.

"The people I'm picking up tonight are coming from Louisiana, by bus. It's a woman coming with her young daughter." Bacon said.

She explains that the women have traveled to Albuquerque for an abortion procedure. But that's about all she knows.

"They just basically tell us the name and when to pick them up and that's about it. And I don't ask questions. I'm here to be a friendly face," Bacon said.

PAGE, Ariz. - American Indian Tribes are feeling the impacts - both positive and negative - of the government shutdown.

Some have seen cuts to food distribution, child care and financial assistance for poor families. South Dakota tribes hit hard by last week's blizzard could use some heat assistance. Across the country tribal leaders are bracing for much worse.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In June, Deleana Other Bull was laid off. She lost her insurance, and turned to the Indian Health Service for her needs.

"I recently had a miscarriage, and it was very devastating for me," said Other Bull. "Going and following up and making sure that everything is okay. It was really scary because I didn't have insurance."

LAS VEGAS - Nevada is one of several states to recently pass a law that will authorize undocumented immigrants to drive. The most contentious issue at a public hearing Wednesday remains whether or not people should be required to pay for the translation of application documents.

Thirteen federal police officers recently arrested in Mexico on kidnapping and murder charges used their patrol cars to carry out the crimes, the Mexican Federal Attorney General's Office said Wednesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the Homeland Security Department's office of inspector general to investigate Border Patrol roving patrols in southern Arizona. The ACLU will file its letter Thursday to the DHS Office of Inspector General, the Justice Department and the DOJ Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

PHOENIX -- The state of Arizona has lost an appeal to reinstate a portion of its 2010 immigration enforcement law, S.B. 1070.

This decision, however, came down to the ineloquent way Arizona's legislature worded the statute.

Health Departments in the Southwest are beginning to see some of the first flu cases of the season. Officials warn there are many populations at higher risk for health complications for the flu.

PHOENIX -- In spite of the federal government shutdown, thousands are gathering on the National Mall in Washington on Tuesday to push Congress to act on immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.

SAN ANTONIO - While the U.S. Federal Government remains shut down, border trade with Mexico is not. And that's good news for Texas, where the lion's share of Mexican trade flows through, much to the dismay of other border states like New Mexico and Arizona.

"Anay's Will to Learn" - Elaine Hampton‪ ‬

Oct 7, 2013

"Anay's Will to Learn" - Elaine Hampton‪ ‬

Best Of The Border (9/30 - 10/4)

Oct 5, 2013

Tourists Find Ways Around National Parks Shutdown

If you wanted to check a Grand Canyon hike off your bucket list this week, you're out of luck because of the federal government shutdown. The same goes with Yosemite, Carlsbad Caverns, Big Bend and other national parks across the country.

Forget The Government Shutdown, It's National Taco Day

Oct 4, 2013

Forget the government shutdown for second, it's National Taco Day!

For a nation caught in a divisive debate over its immigration policies, the United States is eager to embrace cultures outside its heavily guarded borders.

The taco also has its own American food chain. This year, Taco Bell introduced its latest taco mutation, the waffle taco. That's a waffle folded in half with egg and bacon, substitute salsa for syrup.

It comes as no surprise that when the fast-food chain decided to open in Mexico, it failed. Twice.

The debate over immigration reform may have slowed down in Washington, but across the country advocates are pushing to keep the momentum alive.

On Saturday, activists in favor of comprehensive immigration reform are staging marches and rallies in more than 130 cities nationwide. This will include the participation of numerous border communities, where the effects of immigration policy tend to be more pronounced.

SAN ANTONIO - With no end in sight to the federal government shutdown, a group of out-of-work federal employees in San Antonio is delivering its own furlough notice to Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Angry federal workers at Port San Antonio, a decommissioned Air Force Base, say they're fed up being government pawns.

"We just came off our sequester in mid-September and we got the sucker punch of being sent home again Tuesday. All we want is the senator to do his job," said Elsa Martinez, an employee with the Air Force Reserve.

SAN DIEGO - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into a law a bill that will allow immigrants living in the United States illegally to get driver's licenses.

LAS VEGAS - Despite the government shutdown, there is an effort underway in Congress to push immigration reform legislation back into the spotlight.

Immigrant rights activists are calling on politicians to keep immigration reform from being swept under the rug. This may be a tall order with the government shutdown overshadowing Washington.

Asylum Application Surge And The Shutdown

Oct 3, 2013

Asylum requests at the border are on track to more than double this year, with many of those requests coming from Central American immigrants crossing in South Texas.

Unleashing Boy Scouts To Counter Drug Cartels

Oct 3, 2013

Under the agreement known as the "Merida Initiative," the United States has given the Mexican government billions of dollars to fight drug cartels. The program has been criticized as violent, reactionary and ineffective in its attempts to stem the flood of drugs across the border or stop the violence that's plagued Mexico for nearly a decade.

Though that approach continues, the U.S. has also begun using Merida funding to help programs in three cities designed to support so-called sustainable communities and prevent children from being drawn into the drug trade.

In the midst of federal government paralysis, the Washington Post hailed a "rare moment of bipartisan cooperation" when the House of Representatives on Wednesday night approved a bill to extend the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa Program.

ALPINE, Texas - Federal public defenders in the district of West Texas say they will work without pay should the government shutdown continue beyond the next week. Defenders provide free legal council to those who otherwise would not be able to afford it.

Texas' Western District spans 700 miles of the border and is the size of the entire United Kingdom. Defenders in the Western District have the second-highest caseload in the country, second only to Arizona, another border area.