Fronteras: A Changing America

NPR Story
12:27 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

The Place Where Baseball, Immigration Collide

PHOENIX — Spring is in the air, baseball is back.

The prospect of living in the middle of the Cactus League during Spring Training is what made my husband and I giddy to move to Arizona a few years ago.

But it was the raging immigration law debate that gave us pause. I had heard stories from my darker-skinned friends about an openly hostile environment in Arizona.

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

ICE Using New Tool For Detention Decisions

PHOENIX — A recent decision by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to transfer several hundred immigrants from detention to more cost-effective forms of supervision fueled a public outcry. The stated reason for those releases were looming sequester cuts.

In recent months, however, ICE has quietly shifted to using a new instrument to make custody decisions.

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NPR Story
11:18 am
Thu March 7, 2013

What Happens If You Don't Cooperate At Border Check Points?

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 2:28 pm

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — If you drive across the American Southwest, near the Mexico border, you are likely to encounter a Border Patrol checkpoint. These roadside stations are set up to check immigration status.

What happens next is an open question.

When a driver approaches a Border Patrol checkpoint, the drill is to pull off the highway, wait in line, and then a Border Patrol agent will ask, “Are you an American citizen?”

If you answer “yes," in most instances you’ll soon be back on the road.

But what happens if you refuse to answer?

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NPR Story
3:45 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Declining Interest In 'Chicano Studies' Reflects A Latino Identify Shift

David Martin Davies Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:24 am

SAN DIEGO — 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.

Yes, she is Latina, of Mexican heritage. She’s visited family in Mexico, and on weekends as a child she woke up to her parents playing Mexican music on the stereo. But she’s never described herself principally as Mexican or Latina, much less Chicana, a term preferred by many young Mexican-Americans in the 1960s and 70s.

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NPR Story
2:31 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Carlos Slim And Mexico's Digital Divide

Fronteras Desk

A recent story we published had a bold title: Is Tijuana The New Tech Mecca? A Tijuana journalist Jason Thomas Fritz posed a funny, and insightful response:

Although aggravatingly slow, by having access to the Internet, Fritz makes up a small minority in Mexico.

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NPR Story
4:03 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Navajo Nation To Receive Disaster Relief Dollars

Coconino County Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation. This announcement triggers the release of funds to repair the tribe’s broken water lines.

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NPR Story
3:52 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Hualapai Corporation Files For Bankruptcy

Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Hualapai tribal corporation that managed the Grand Canyon Skywalk filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. This comes after a federal judge upheld a $28 million judgement in favor of the Skywalk developer.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Texas Bill To Outlaw Personal Drone Use

Since Fronteras Desk interviewed Chris Anderson on his company 3D Robotics, which makes personalized drones, he wrote a highly talked about opinion piece in The New York Times about his company's success in collaborating with Tijuana.

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NPR Story
12:42 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Program Offers A Look At Front Line Of Border Security, Immigration Reform

While leaders from both sides of the aisle agree immigration policy needs reform, the debate has morphed into two points of contention — the pathway to citizenship and border security.

As the bipartisan group of Senators suggest, fundamental policy changes should not take place until our border is secure.

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Forbes Magazine Takes El Chapo Off The World's Most Influential List

via Forbes.com Fronteras Desk

After four years, Forbes Magazine removed Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán from its list of the world's most powerful men.

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NPR Story
12:17 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Drones Reboot For Homeland; Intercepting Calls, Tracking Smartphones

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is rebooting Predator B drones used abroad to better fulfill domestic needs — in places like the border — according to records obtained by Electronic Privacy Information Center and CNET.

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NPR Story
11:42 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Documentary Profiles Tijuana Actor/Immigrant Smuggler

Meet Félix Rosales, a middle-aged, overweight producer and actor in Tijuana’s prolific B movie industry. He’s played many roles in dozens of films, but the role he knows best is that of a pollero, a coyote. A guy who helps immigrants sneak into the U.S. illegally.

But Rosales has another profession, the one that pays the bills. He’s a real life pollero.

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NPR Story
11:16 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Why Is The West So Great For Ultramarathons?

Photo by Criss Furman Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX — To complete a marathon — a 26.2 mile race — is certainly an accomplishment.

But ultrarunners consider that distance a warm-up. Officially the definition of an ultramarathon is anything longer than 26.2 miles, but standard ultra races are 50 to 100 miles, racing on roads or trails.

And while ultrarunning is a global sport, several of the most popular races take place in the Western United States.

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NPR Story
7:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Alex Sanchez: Gang Peacemaker Or Shot-Caller For MS-13?

Image courtesy of We Are Alex Fronteras Desk

LOS ANGELES — Since he became the first former gang member granted political asylum in a United States immigration case in 2002, many have followed the activism and work of gang interventionist and Homies Unidos founder Alex Sanchez.

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NPR Story
7:03 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Best Of The Border (2/24-3/1)

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

What will the sequestration fallout look like across the Southwest?

Three quick points:

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NPR Story
7:03 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Not Your Everyday Deportation Case

PHOENIX — This week an unusual deportation hearing wrapped up in Miami.

The questions in Jose Guillermo Garcia's deportation case aren't the typical ones heard in immigration court, such as whether the defendant entered the country improperly, or committed certain crimes in the U.S. that are deportable offenses.

Rather, the case centers on Garcia's actions during his post as Minister of Defense in El Salvador more than 30 years ago.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Navajo Nation, Feds Take On Overwhelming Violent Crime

Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation is one of the most violent reservations in the country. According to FBI reports, in the last five years more rapes were reported on the Navajo Nation than in San Diego, Detroit and several other more populous U.S. cities.

The tribe just opened one of four new jails. But there’s not enough funding to staff them.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Is Tijuana The New Tech Mecca?

TIJUANA, Mexico — As far as tech expos go, this was no CES, the Consumer Electronics Show held every year in Las Vegas. Here at the BIT Center in Tijuana, there were only a few dozen vendors — a social media firm; a consulting company that helps maquilas manage their inventory and customs paperwork.

But some here really believe the border city has a future as an innovation mecca, like Silicon Valley.

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NPR Story
7:05 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Crossing The Border For Coffee

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — One of my favorite things about being a reporter is discovering the unexpected.

A few Fridays ago my student intern and I were wandering the streets of downtown Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Someone had told me a new coffee shop had opened on Avenida Juárez, the main street that flows into the international bridge.

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NPR Story
1:25 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

House Sends Enhanced VAWA To President For Signature

Fronteras Desk

The House approved the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization on Thursday with added protections for American Indian, undocumented and LGBT communities. The Republican version of the bill was rejected.

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NPR Story
1:18 am
Thu February 28, 2013

The Immigration Reform Tamal

SAN DIEGO — Alongside all the sequester-related lobbying that’s going on in Washington these days, lots of folks are trying to put their two cents, and chapters, into an immigration reform bill.

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NPR Story
1:18 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Hundreds of Immigrant Detainees Return To Families

Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX — A Greyhound bus station near the Phoenix airport is the first stop for many immigrants released from immigration detention centers in Arizona.

Taxi driver Henry Williams works here most evenings. He says it’s normal to see a few people dropped off from immigration detention centers on a nightly basis, but last weekend was unusual.

“This Saturday it was humongous, there was three busloads,” Williams said.

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NPR Story
12:46 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Officials Say 26,121 Have Disappeared In Drug War

There are at least 26,121 people missing in Mexico, having disappeared under the President Felipe Calderon’s term, according to government officials.

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NPR Story
12:06 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Release Of ICE Detainees Draws Mixed Reaction

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX — A decision by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release hundreds of immigrants from its custody who are awaiting deportation proceedings has sparked mixed reactions.

The agency says it took the cost-saving step in order to stay within budget because of the looming possibility of sequestration.

On Tuesday, ICE released figures that 303 immigrants have been moved in recent days from Arizona detention facilities to less costly forms of supervised release. The releases represent less than 12 percent of the total number of immigrants detained in Arizona.

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NPR Story
11:15 am
Wed February 27, 2013

New Mexico's Economy Is Struggling, But Trade Growth Shines

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico is growing its export market faster than any other state in the country, according to the International Trade Administration. Trade is the one bright spot in the state's struggling economy.

Governor Susana Martinez announced Tuesday that New Mexico's exports grew by a rapid 42 percent. In 2012 the state exported $3 billion in goods to countries around the world. Last year Israel was its biggest export market followed by Mexico.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Sequestration Could Become A Grim Reality

Unless action is taken, the once vague threat of sequestration — a broad $85 billion series of federal spending cuts— which was posed as a fierce incentive to get the stalemate congress moving, will become reality. The countdown ends Thursday at midnight.

If sequestration starts Friday morning, what would that look like across the Southwest?

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Sequestration Cuts Will Slash Border Patrol, Hobble Border Trade

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — If Congress isn’t able to avoid the automatic budget cuts of sequestration on March 1, border protection and legitimate border traffic could suffer.

Within the $2.4 trillion deficit reduction required by the budget sequestration are cuts that will slash into federal operation along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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NPR Story
12:30 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Texas Latino Leaders Support Voting Rights Act

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court will take up a case that could considerably weaken a key part of the Voting Rights Act. Texas civil rights leaders say if that happens, Latino and African-American voters in the state will certainly be discriminated against.

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NPR Story
12:17 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Businesses, Military Bases Preparing For Sequester

Fronteras Desk

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The clock is ticking on automatic federal budget cuts, known as the sequester, that will go into effect at the end of this week. In the Southwest one of the states that could be hardest hit is New Mexico. The upcoming deadline has government agencies, local businesses and military bases on edge.

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NPR Story
11:52 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Tijuanans Throw Birthday Party For A Pothole

San Diegans frustrated by languishing potholes have been known to take repairs into their own hands. That spirit is alive and well south of the border, too.

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