Fronteras: A Changing America

NPR Story
8:43 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Children Left Behind: Deported Parents, American Kids

Fronteras Desk

TIJUANA, Mexico — Hundreds, if not thousands, of deported parents are trying to reunite with children left behind in the United States. In 2011, some 1,500 children in Southern California were removed from detained or deported parents and placed in state care.

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NPR Story
7:02 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Phoenix's Wish List For Relations With Mexico

Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX — Phoenix government and city leader were in Mexico City last week for a trade mission. What were they after?

The delegation to Mexico came down with a new promotional video that shows off the tourist sites in downtown Phoenix, narrated by a perky Spanish-speaker. It highlights the US Airways Arena, local sports, and nightlife spots like the Crescent Ballroom.

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NPR Story
5:11 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

West's Largest Coal Plant Faces Challenges

Photo courtesy National Park Serivce. Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Navajo Council started its spring session this week in Window Rock.

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NPR Story
1:12 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

As Drug War Grows Bloodier, Mexican Government Shifts Focus

When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto brought a new face to an old ruling party, he also brought a fresh perspective to the war plaguing his country.

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NPR Story
12:03 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Arizona's Image Still A Challenge In Mexico

Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX — Three years after Arizona passed the immigration enforcement law SB 1070, the state is still viewed by many in Mexico as unwelcoming. Phoenix city officials learned as much while on a trade mission to Mexico City last week.

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NPR Story
8:26 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Recycling Cuts Down Mexican Used Tire Dumps

Recycling efforts are helping reduce health and safety risks posed by tire dumps located in Mexican border cities.

Nearly a decade ago the Environmental Protection Agency and its Mexican counterpart, the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales or SEMARNAT, partnered to reduce the number of tires dumped in cities like Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo.

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NPR Story
7:01 am
Sat April 13, 2013

This Story Contains Sensitive Language: Who Do Disclaimers Protect?

Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — For the last several days I’ve been reporting on a Paris auction house that sold sacred Hopi items Friday. The tribe tried to stop the sale, saying they were stolen and belonged on its reservation in northern Arizona.

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NPR Story
7:01 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Best Of The Border (4/7-4/12)

Grand Canyon Mules To Stop Delivering Packages

It’s a long way from the rim of the Grand Canyon down to the bottom where the Colorado River flows. Since the 1920s mules have delivered mail and care packages to the boatmen and backpackers at Phantom Ranch, a small outpost on the floor of the canyon.

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NPR Story
11:53 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Recycling Cuts Down Mexican Used Tire Dumps

Recycling efforts are helping reduce health and safety risks posed by tire dumps located in Mexican border cities.

Nearly a decade ago the Environmental Protection Agency and its Mexican counterpart, the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales or SEMARNAT, partnered to reduce the number of tires dumped in cities like Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo.

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NPR Story
10:36 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Is 'The Most Important Website In Mexico' Stealing Work From Mexican Journalists?

Fronteras Desk

TUCSON, Ariz. — Recently, a carefully constructed narrative surfaced along the Mexican border. Its creators have been interviewed by everyone from the Texas Observer to television stations and online outlets. The narrative is of a young woman fed up with the travesties that occur every day in Mexico; the murders and corruption and violence and barbarities that have dominated the headlines for most of the past decade. She says her name is "Lucy," she is in her mid-20s and is a journalist in northern Mexico.

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NPR Story
3:42 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

President's Budget Requests Border Expansion Funding

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:08 pm

President Barack Obama released his federal budget proposal Wednesday, and among his funding priorities are two of the nation’s border crossings with Mexico.

The president wants $226 million to fund continued construction at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego, the world’s busiest land border crossing. He’s also requesting $61 million to expand the port of entry in Laredo, Texas.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Different Perspectives From The Thousands Marching In Washington D.C. For Immigration Reform

Thousands of activists are descending on Washington D.C. to march for immigration reform.

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NPR Story
10:44 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Labor Unions Have A Big Stake In Immigration Reform

Fronteras Desk

SAN DIEGO — As head of the 800,000-member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Maria Elena Durazo is one of the nation’s most powerful union leaders, and a key player in the ongoing immigration reform negotiations.

But before her current post, she led a hotel workers’ union. She said one of the hardest parts of the job was convincing workers who were in the country illegally to organize. They feared they could be easily fired, and she said that fear had rippling implications.

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NPR Story
1:17 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Border Agent Tried On Excessive Force Charges

The trial of a U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of choking a border crosser began today in San Diego.

It comes at a time when border agents are under increased scrutiny for the use of excessive force against migrants.

The trial for Agent Luis Fonseca is expected to be a short one. He's accused of choking unconscious a man believed to have crossed the border illegally. Fonseca has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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NPR Story
7:09 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Addressing Why Migrants Leave Their Home Countries

SAN DIEGO — The "Gang of Eight" senators should be presenting their long-awaited immigration reform bill any day now. And the bill will almost certainly not address what is, in my mind, a fundamental driver of illegal immigration into the country: The U.S. tends to be a better place to live than the place people are migrating from.

We can put up walls, increase enforcement and make our immigration system work better, but immigrants — at least some — will continue to come illegally. If they don’t come from Mexico, they’ll come from a poorer country.

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NPR Story
3:15 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Pancho The Rabbit: An Allegory For Children Crossing The Dangerous Border

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

Pancho the Rabbit is on a journey. After two years absent, Pancho decides to travel north to find his father who went looking for work in the carrot fields. Along the way he meets a coyote, a seasoned traveler who offers help in exchange for food.

The story is an allegorical picture book, intended to teach young readers — ages 6 to 9 years old— about the hardships and danger migrants face crossing the border.

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NPR Story
1:21 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

A Fleeting Glimpse Of A Speedy Crossing At San Ysidro

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

This weekend offered a coveted rarity for commuters crossing the world’s busiest land border crossing — a brief transit.

From Friday at noon until Monday at 8 a.m., San Diegan and Tijuanese border crossers embraced a speedy crossing at the San Yisdro port of entry. Thanks to a pause in ongoing construction, lanes were expanded from 17 to 23, with a doubled 43 inspection booths.

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NPR Story
7:01 am
Mon April 8, 2013

For Award-Winning Author, The Border Is More Than A Headline

Fronteras Desk

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

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — In the Mexican border city of Juárez a few blocks south of the international bridge, sits an old Prohibition-era bar. It's called the Kentucky Club, a legendary spot beloved by border dwellers on both sides.

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NPR Story
7:03 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Will Unauthorized Immigrants Get Federal Health Benefits After Reform?

Fronteras Desk

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

PHOENIX — About 48 million Americans lack medical insurance. That’s poised to change next year when federal tax credits for insurance and expanded access to Medicaid become available to certain Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

But there’s a huge group left out -- the 11 million immigrants in the country illegally are currently barred from both programs.

One of those who is ineligible is 19-year-old Maria Diaz. She was born in Mexico and grew up in Arizona without papers. Her young life so far hasn’t involved many encounters with doctors.

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NPR Story
7:03 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Best Of The Border (3/31-4/5)

Fronteras Desk

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

Hopi Outraged Over Auction Of Religious Items

A Paris auction house plans to sell 70 sacred Native American artifacts. The northern Arizona Hopi Tribe is outraged and wants them back.

The Hopi call them Katsina friends and they are treated as such. The Hopi people use them in ceremonies and dances to call upon the spirits to bring them rainfall, healing and protection.

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NPR Story
4:16 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Texas Looks At Mexican Drug Cartels For Connection To District Attorney Murders

Fronteras Desk

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

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A double funeral took place Friday morning in Texas for Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia. Both were gunned down in late March in what is seen an orchestrated attack on law enforcement. There are few clues in the shocking assault, but some are wondering if there’s a connection to the Mexican drug cartels.

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NPR Story
12:34 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Southwest Voices: The Term 'Illegal Immigrant'

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

When the Associated Press Stylebook decided to no longer sanction using the term "illegal" or "undocumented" immigrant, we noted our policy as well.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

New drone radar reveals Border Patrol 'gotaways' in high numbers

Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:07 am

The U.S. Border Patrol has caught a fraction of the border crossers spotted by a sophisticated sensor mounted on unmanned spy aircraft and flown over remote stretches of desert, casting doubts on claims that the area is more secure than ever, according to documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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NPR Story
5:05 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

New Mexico: We'll Decide If We Want Washington's Nuclear Waste

Fronteras Desk

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a plan to help resolve a problem with leaky storage tanks holding nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state. Their solution: ship the waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The problem is WIPP has been prohibited from receiving Hanford tank waste for nearly a decade. Now, New Mexicans are debating whether to reverse course and accept some of the waste.

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NPR Story
5:05 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Washington: We Can Send 'Different' Nuclear Waste To New Mexico

Fronteras Desk

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

RICHLAND, Wash. - The U.S. Department of Energy says its wants to send 3 million gallons of radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to a storage site in New Mexico. That’s 3 million gallons out of a total of 56 million gallons of some of the most toxic stuff on earth.

But what is different about this waste in particular, and why some groups are against moving it to New Mexico?

At a recent news conference at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said, “We have some good news here today.”

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NPR Story
7:44 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Federal Program Helps Divert Smugglers From Criminal Life

Fronteras Desk

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

Brenda is an attractive 27-year old with pretty impressive job credentials. (I was asked not to use her last name so as not to compromise her job prospects.)

At her tidy San Diego apartment, Brenda showed me her Emergency Medical Technician certificate and tells me about the Medical Billing course she just finished.

“I want to be a surgeon,” she said. “I want to do brain surgery.”

A felony for alien smuggling could put a serious damper on those plans, and Brenda knows it. At least now she does.

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NPR Story
2:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Arizona Lawmaker Reviving Plans For Controversial Border Fence

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

Arizona State Sen. Steve Smith says in the coming weeks a plan to build Arizona’s controversial border fence will be unveiled.

In 2011, Smith sponsored a bill allowing the state use inmate labor and private donations to build a border fence on private and government land.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Juárez Resurrection

Fronteras Desk

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

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — Finding an empty chair at the Kentucky Club in Ciudad Juárez last Saturday night was close to impossible. In five years I'd never seen the place so full. Once inside there was no getting to the bathroom or the jukebox without a series of shoulder twists and elbow jabs.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Homicides In Juarez Spike, But Still Below Drug War High

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

During the month of March, 45 homicides were reported in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, according to Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office. The deaths mark a spike, and growing concern during a relatively calm period for the border city.

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NPR Story
12:11 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Arizona Town OKs Gay Civil Unions

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

TUCSON, Ariz. — The town of Bisbee, Ariz., voted Tuesday night to become the first city in the state to allow civil unions for gay couples.

But just hours before the city council met to vote, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne had already sent in his opposition. Horne called same-sex civil unions unconstitutional and said he would fight the city.

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