Fronteras: A Changing America

NPR Story
7:03 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Navajo Nation Lacks Funding To Complete Jails

Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:26 am

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has one of the highest crime rates of any Indian reservation in the country. The tribe is trying to address the problem. One of the critical issues it faces right now is lack of funding for much-needed new jails.

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NPR Story
4:19 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

When Is An Illegal Immigrant No Longer Illegal?

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:16 am

SAN DIEGO — When is an “illegal immigrant” no longer illegal?

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NPR Story
2:49 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Border Patrol Postpones Staff Furloughs

Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:27 am

The Customs and Border Protection Agency has postponed forced furloughs for its employees.

The agency had said sequester-related budget cuts would force the unpaid leave and elimination of staff overtime as early as this week. It had warned of longer waits to cross the border and fewer agents on the ground.

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NPR Story
1:07 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Drone Industry Boosters Pilot Controversial Local Growth Plan

Wikimedia Commons Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 1:45 pm

When it comes to the controversial unmanned aircraft known as drones, business is booming. That could mean scores of new jobs for San Diego, but privacy defenders say courting the drone industry could cost us our civil liberties.

Imagining swarms of drones hovering over most of Southern California makes a lot of residents uneasy, but that's exactly what Sean Barr of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation hopes to see.

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NPR Story
11:42 am
Tue April 2, 2013

At Cesar Chavez Day March, Labor's New Stance On Immigration

Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:27 am

SAN DIEGO — Union organizer Genoveva Aguilar helped kick off a march commemorating Cesar Chavez Day in San Diego on Monday.

“Our union has lost many of its good-spirited members because of immigration audits and E-Verify," Aguilar belted into the microphone. "Are we going to permit this?"

"No!” the crowd yelled back.

Dozens of marchers held signs and wore T-shirts calling for immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.

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NPR Story
11:21 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Mexico's Cartels Traveling Beyond Border, Into American Heartland

Mexican drug cartels are sending operatives beyond the border and into the American heartland, the Associated Press reports.

The groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S. Cartel operatives are suspected of running drug-distribution networks in at least nine non-border states, often in middle-class suburbs in the Midwest, South and Northeast.

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NPR Story
7:04 am
Mon April 1, 2013

How The Media And Its Sources Are Perceived

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The uranium mining company Energy Fuels Resources took me to one of its working mines north of Grand Canyon National Park for a recent story. Donn Pillmore, who oversees all the mines on the Arizona strip, and Pamela Hill, a lobbyist for the mining industry, spent the whole day with me. Pillmore was pretty guarded but grew warmer as the day wore on. Hill seemed friendly.

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NPR Story
11:42 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Tiny Town To Defy Arizona, Ratify Gay Civil Unions

Fronteras Desk

BISBEE, Ariz. — The tiny town of Bisbee, Ariz., is expected to pass a resolution recognizing gay civil unions Tuesday night.

It's a quirky mountain village in Arizona’s southeastern corner, a short drive from the Mexican border. Locals and tourists alike mingle outside the post office, where a group of men sit in the parking lot tapping out a fast rhythm on bongo drums.

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NPR Story
7:05 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Best Of The Border (3/24-3/29)

Fronteras Desk

Growing Population Of Muslims Calling Tijuana Home

Every day, at a small, nondescript building in Playas, Tijuana, a handful of people gather to pray. They are worshiping at a masjid, or mosque, one of two new Islamic centers within a mile of one another, both of which have opened within the past three years.

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NPR Story
1:49 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

New Mexico Catholics Begin Annual Chimayo Pilgrimage

An annual Good Friday pilgrimage is underway in Northern New Mexico. Tens of thousands of Catholics are expected to visit a tiny church that's nearly 200 years old.

Many arrive by foot on a multi-day journey that includes traversing a major U.S. highway. Some come to seek forgiveness, others to ask for help or give thanks.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Drug War Itself Had Minimal Impact On Americans Visiting Mexico

Did the wave cartel violence during 2007-2011 impact the number of Americans visiting Mexico? Of course, but not as much as you would think.

In three years, drug war related deaths in Mexico increased 440 percent — from 2,826 deaths in 2007 to 15,273 in 2010.

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NPR Story
7:04 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Concerns About Peña Nieto's New Security Strategy

The Los Angeles Times reports that major Mexican civic groups are pressing President Enrique Peña Nieto to proceed cautiously with his plan to create a national paramilitary force to combat violence in the country.

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NPR Story
7:02 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Doing Justice To Federal Court Reporting

PHOENIX — There was a lively debate in federal district court in Phoenix last Friday over whether Arizona can ban young immigrants who qualify for an Obama administration program from getting driver’s licenses.

In a hearing that lasted well over two hours, the judge grilled both sides with tough questions.

Or so I heard from other reporters. I didn’t get to see it myself.

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NPR Story
7:02 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Semana Santa Means Retail Pilgrimage To The US

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — This week is Semana Santa – or Holy Week. It’s a big week in Mexico, when schools cancel classes and businesses take a holiday for the last week of Lent before Easter. And it’s a big week for retailers in the Southwest, because Mexican shoppers cross the border in droves.

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NPR Story
4:10 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

The War On Cascarones: Border Patrol Cracks Down On Confetti Eggs

The Easter holiday is a very busy time to cross the border.

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NPR Story
1:22 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Mexican Reporters Working Under Threat

Fronteras Desk

NOGALES, Mexico — Hiram Gonzalez stands on a quiet street in Nogales, Mexico. He’s watching two men peering through the bars of the border fence into the U.S. One is talking feverishly into a cellphone while the other scrambles up the 25-foot border wall in seconds. Both men are oblivious to a pair of reporters standing on the street just beneath them, watching, until the man on the cellphone turns around.

"Don't take photos!" he shouts, panicking.

Gonzalez calms him, "It’s just for radio.”

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

U.S. Defeats Mexico In 0-0 Tie

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:26 pm

When is a win not a win? When the U.S. Men's National soccer team goes into Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and holds El Tri to a 0-0 tie.

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NPR Story
11:12 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Not Quite The Alamo: U.S., Mexico Tie In Men's World Cup Qualifier

When is a win not a win? When the U.S. Men's National soccer team goes into Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and holds El Tri to a 0-0 tie.

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NPR Story
7:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

No Official Death Count From Long Gun Fight In Reynosa

On March 10, a gun battle erupted in Reynosa, a border city across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas. The battle raged all night. The events that followed illustrate the complexities of a drug war inflated with intimidation and speculation.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

San Diego Trial Begins for Alleged Drug Gang Leaders

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 6:10 pm

SAN DIEGO — Lawyers delivered opening statements today in the trial of two alleged Mexican drug gang leaders accused of up to nine murders in San Diego.

Jorge Rojas Lopez and Juan Francisco Estrada Gonzalez are being tried for murders that occurred between 2004 and 2007. Some of the victims’ bodies were dissolved in acid.

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NPR Story
10:34 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Gunwalking Report Shows Homeland Security Knew Of Operation

TUCSON, Ariz. — A final report on the gunwalking scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious shows a Homeland Security agent in Arizona participated in the operation and tried to warn his superiors in Phoenix, but those officials never read the reports.

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NPR Story
3:54 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Hatch Valley Farms Fight For Water, Survival

Fronteras Desk

HATCH, N.M. — Lately there's nothing grand about the Rio Grande. Persistent drought across the Southwest has sucked the river dry.

Light snowfall and little rain mean the region must brace itself for more of the same this year. It's a wake-up call for city folk and farmers alike that water is increasingly scarce.

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NPR Story
3:22 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Activists Launch Grassroots Immigration Reform Push

PHOENIX — In Arizona, more than a dozen faith, labor and pro-immigrant groups are launching a state-wide grassroots push for immigration reform. The push coincides with the period when Senators and Representatives are home from Washington, D.C. on a recess.

These groups want an immigration reform package that keeps families together and includes a pathway to citizenship. They announced a two-week effort promote this message in front of Sen. John McCain’s Phoenix office on Monday, and are scheduled to attend his town hall meeting later in the day.

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NPR Story
1:15 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Obama's Re-Election Group To Campaign For Immigration Reform

Organizing For Action, the successful group behind President Obama’s re-election campaign, is wading into the immigration debate.

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NPR Story
12:53 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Sandra Day O'Connor Describes Childhood In A Border Town

Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX — Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor grew up in a rural Arizona town on a working ranch. Before her judicial career, she spent her childhood riding horses and raising cattle.

She and her eldest son, Scott O'Connor, came to StoryCorps Phoenix to talk about Sandra's early life. She was sent to El Paso to attend school and live with her Spanish-speaking grandmother.

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NPR Story
12:50 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Report: One Third Of DHS IT Projects Falling Short Of Schedule And Cost

Approximately one-third of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) major Information Technology systems, or projects, are not meeting costs or schedule commitments, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office.

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NPR Story
12:08 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Interpreter's Career Rises, Then Falls, Amidst Tehran-Washington Standoff

David Martin Davies Fronteras Desk

SAN DIEGO — Amir Mohammed Estakhri is an American citizen of Iranian descent, and a longtime San Diego resident. He's a native Farsi speaker — the official language of Iran. And he speaks Dari, a very similar language spoken in Afghanistan.

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NPR Story
7:04 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Best Of The Border (3/17-3/22)

Undocumented Immigrant Deaths Spike At Border

Crossing the border may be more dangerous than ever before.

A study released Tuesday by The National Foundation for American Policy suggests an immigrant attempting to cross illegally into the United States is eight times more likely to die in the attempt than a decade ago.

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NPR Story
1:28 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Measurements Of Border Security Remain Opaque

As it stands, immigration reform hinges on a secure border. But measurements to evaluate overall conditions and security are as opaque as ever.

In 2010, James Dinkins, the executive associate director for homeland security investigations at ICE told Congress he had started a process “to completely redo our performance measures.”

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NPR Story
1:04 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

More Meningitis Cases In SoCal May Be Linked To Tijuana Outbreak

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 5:15 pm

Tijuana’s 18 cases of meningitis, including six deaths, are about three times more than the city typically sees in a year. In San Diego County, where an average of nine cases per year are reported, there have been two cases and one death in recent weeks.

A 39-year-old man died earlier this week, while a one-year-old child was hospitalized late last month and is recovering.

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