Fronteras: A Changing America

NPR Story
12:52 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

A Decade After War's Start, Iraqi Refugees Are Transforming A California Town

Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:09 pm

SAN DIEGO — The Iraq War has been officially over for nearly a year and a half. But refugees from the conflict are still being admitted to the United States by the thousands, and many of those continue to settle in the city of El Cajon, east of San Diego.

The first refugees started arriving in 2007, joining family members who had arrived more than a decade earlier after the Gulf War. In the six years since the U.S. started admitting refugees from the most recent conflict, more than 11,000 Iraqis have arrived in the San Diego area, with a vast majority settling in El Cajon.

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NPR Story
7:05 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Federal Arrest Warrants Can Be Eye-Opening

TUCSON, Ariz. — It’s been obvious for some time that law enforcement will monitor social media accounts for signs of illegal activity or criminals.

In fact, it makes sense when you stop to consider the brazenness of people’s online activities.

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Mexico May Drop As Top 10 Tourist Spot, But International Perception Continues To Grow

Mexico continues to be the most popular tourist destination for the Americans traveling abroad. But the two largest points of entry for tourists — border crossings and ports for cruise ships — have seen dwindling numbers in the past few years.

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NPR Story
12:37 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Minimum Wage Increase Could Be Bittersweet For Latinos

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — President Barack Obama is pushing for an increase to the national minimum wage. If passed by Congress, the pay rate would jump from $7.25 per hour to $9.00. That jump would directly impact many in the Latino community.

Irasema Cavazos is a San Antonio home health care worker who makes more than the national minimum wage.

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NPR Story
7:04 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Bearing Witness In Guatemala

As I reported a story this week on the start of an historic trial of a former Guatemalan dictator, all the reasons I was first captivated by that country (and still am) came flooding back.

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NPR Story
5:24 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Border Crossing Stories Play Big Role In Immigrant Family Histories

Anna King Fronteras Desk

MABTON, Wash. — Most American families have some kind of immigration lore — think Ellis Island, the Oregon Trail and slave ships. At dinner tables across the Northwest, some Mexican-American families tell their own vivid tales. They regale each other with stories of relatives swimming to better opportunities across the Rio Grande or crossing the desert at night.

Yes, these crossings are illegal, but they also are part of a family’s history. If the U.S. Congress adopts comprehensive immigration reform this year, these types of border stories could begin to fade.

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NPR Story
2:54 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Tijuana Sewage Spill Closes Border Beaches

SAN DIEGO — Several beaches along the Tijuana-San Diego border are closed due to a sewage spill, however the extent of the spill remains unknown.

WiLDCOAST, a conservation non-profit in Imperial Beach, reported Tuesday that a sewage treatment plant in Tijuana had a collapsed collector and shattered line that resulted in pollutants dumping into the ocean at two liters a second, or 45,600 gallons in 24 hours.

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NPR Story
5:20 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Border Author Wins PEN/Faulkner Literary Award

Photo courtesy of Cinco Puntos Press Fronteras Desk

EL PASO, Texas — A book of short stories about the U.S./Mexico border is this year's winner of the PEN/Faulkner literary award. The author, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, is the first Latino awarded the prize.

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NPR Story
1:11 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Tijuana Library Honored With Prestigious Architecture Award

SAN DIEGO — The Tijuana/San Diego architecture firm CRO Studios built a modern library in the flood-prone urban development known as Camino Verde in Tijuana.

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NPR Story
12:34 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

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
10:53 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Former Guatemalan Strongman Stands Trial For Genocide

Fronteras Desk

More than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared in Guatemala's 36-year-long civil war. It was one of the bloodiest and most vicious of modern times.

But one period was especially brutal, the one in which General Efraín Rios Montt was in charge.

As he sought to squash a bubbling leftist uprising, thousands of Guatemalans were raped, tortured and slaughtered by the army he commanded.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Mexico - Aztec Tiger On The Rise?

There’s a fascinating debate going on in the U.S. media about whether or not Mexico is truly emerging as the next economic powerhouse. Interesting, that this debate seems to coincide with a concerted public relations campaign initiated by the new regime in Mexico City to change the conversation about Mexico.

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NPR Story
1:47 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Republican Party Seeks To Appeal To Immigrants, Gays, Minorities, Women, Youth

A 100 page report released by the Republican National Committee on Monday unveiled proposals to open the base to individuals who may have felt alienated in the past, including immigrants, minorities, younger voters and gays.

The report, titled the Growth and Opportunity Project, outlines stark recommendations to rebrand and reorganize the Republican Party on a federal level.

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NPR Story
7:03 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Best Of The Border (3/10-3/15)

Diversifying The Lifeguard Applicant Pool

Phoenix Aquatics staff member Kelly Martinez took on the delicate task of explaining why they are targeting inner-city schools like this one for recruitment, and the scenario they are trying to correct.

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NPR Story
4:25 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

ICE Reveals Detainee Release Numbers

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 6:37 pm

WASHINGTON — In front of the subcommittee of Homeland Security Appropriations on Thursday, ICE Director John Morton said 2,228 immigrants were transferred from detention to supervised release in recent weeks due to budget cuts.

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NPR Story
3:23 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Monarch Butterfly Migration Symbolic Of Cross Border Relationship

The number of monarch butterflies completing their famous migration to central Mexico is dramatically shrinking. Every spring, hundreds of millions of butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains fly up to 3,000 miles to winter in central Mexico

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NPR Story
2:59 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Election Of Pope Francis Draws Excitement And Praise In Southern California

The Vatican has its white smoke. Los Angeles has bells that rang out at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels downtown. Archbishop Jose Gomez usually doesn't attend midday Mass, but yesterday he had a very important announcement to make.

About 70-percent of LA's Catholics are Latino, and at yesterday's service Gomez got his biggest applause when he spoke in Spanish. LA's 4.2 million Catholics will now be led by an archbishop from Mexico and a pope from Argentina.

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NPR Story
7:05 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Companies Search For Ways To Mine Uranium Outside Grand Canyon National Park

Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 3:12 pm

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Northern Arizona has four times more uranium than any other deposit in the United States. But as of 2012, new uranium mining claims are banned on land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. The uranium riches still have mining companies looking for a way in.

For many years uranium mines have provided hundreds of jobs to this region, but it’s a cyclical industry. While the current price for uranium is low, analysts and mining companies are looking ahead to a new boom when China and India finish construction on several new nuclear reactors.

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NPR Story
4:30 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Lawsuits Allege Abuses By Immigration Authorities

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:20 am

SAN DIEGO — A 4-year-old United States citizen detained with her grandfather for 20 hours with only a cookie to eat and nowhere to nap.

Three women apprehended near the Texas-Mexico border and held in a freezing cell for days on end with no beds or blankets.

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NPR Story
1:33 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio From Argentina Named New Pope

Getty Images Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:17 pm

Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.

Known until Wednesday as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed. He came close to becoming pope last time, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out of the running in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

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NPR Story
4:18 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Border Vendors, But No Border Buyers

PHOENIX — The annual Border Security Expo in Phoenix opened Tuesday. It’s an event meant to showcase the latest technologies for sale to border agencies. But one huge element was missing: federal buyers.

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NPR Story
4:01 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

George P. Bush Cites Former First Lady As Inspiration To Run For Land Commissioner

George P. Bush will run for Texas land commissioner in 2014.

For months, there has been speculation surrounding what office Bush — the Latino nephew of one U.S. President and grandson of another — would go after.

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NPR Story
11:37 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Major Mexican Newspaper To Stop Publishing Cartel News

The Zócalo newspaper is the latest victim in a recent upswing of violence against Mexican journalists.

Zócalo, a publication out of the Coahuila capitol, Saltillo, wrote a front-page editorial on its website Monday explaining it would no longer publish news concerning drug cartels.

In a statement by the editorial council of the paper, it said the decision aimed to protect its employees and their families.

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NPR Story
10:49 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Diversifying The Lifeguard Applicant Pool

Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX — It may still be winter in most of the country, but here in Phoenix it's almost swimming weather.

And that means a new crop of teenagers are training to be lifeguards. It’s a job that’s typically been filled by high school swim team athletes, many of whom are white. But now the city is now trying to diversify that classic summer job.

In late January, staff from the Phoenix Aquatics program visited Alhambra High School, which is almost 95 percent minority.

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NPR Story
2:32 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Court Limits Border Agents' Ability To Search Personal Computers

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:45 am

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure. But there is an exception for the border agents trying to detect illegal material before it enters the country.

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NPR Story
1:45 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Could Immigrants Visit Home Countries Under Gang Of Eight's Path To Citizenship?

A bipartisan group of senators laying the foundation on immigration reform, known as the Gang of Eight, have agreed on a pathway for the 11 million undocumented immigrants to attain citizenship.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Best Of The Border (3/3-3/8)

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 7:05 am

The week's top stories from Fronteras: The Changing America Desk:

Is It End Of The Chicano Generation?

On the campus of San Diego State University recently, Sandy Chavez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, said, without hesitation, that she thinks of herself primarily as American.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Tribe And Environmentalists Sue Forest Service Over Uranium Mine

Bruce Gordon, Ecoflight Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Havasupai Tribe and environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service for allowing a uranium mining company to operate six miles outside of Grand Canyon National Park.

Havasupai Chairman Don Watahomigie says the mine is on a sacred site and designated traditional cultural property. He’s also concerned about protecting the tribe’s drinking water.

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NPR Story
7:02 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Hopi Revises Criminal Code, Regains Sovereignty

Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average. But for decades antiquated criminal codes have limited what tribal courts could do.

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NPR Story
2:03 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Asian-Americans Have Their Own Priorities For Immigration Reform

It’s inevitable, especially here in Southern California, that when one thinks about immigration reform and the undocumented, one hears Latino voices. From KPCC Charles Castaldi reports

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