Fronteras: A Changing America

NPR Story
7:05 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Labor, Business Agree On Immigration Reform Needs

PHOENIX — As the push for comprehensive immigration reform continues in Congress with public hearings, behind the scenes different interest groups are holding their own negotiations.

The fate of comprehensive immigration reform may lie with two major players -- labor and business -- and whether they decide to get behind a bill.

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NPR Story
7:03 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Best Of The Border (2/17-2/22)

Fronteras Desk

The week's top stories from Fronteras Desk.

Expedited Crossing: Is A SENTRI Pass Worth The Trouble?

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NPR Story
11:21 am
Fri February 22, 2013

San Antonio Mayor Talks Trade, Immigration With Mexican President

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Looking to increase cross-border trade ties, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday. Castro also was able to update the president on U.S.

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NPR Story
10:37 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Indian Health Faces Possible Sequestration Cuts

Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — If Congress doesn’t agree on a budget deal by March 1, a series of broad spending cuts -- or sequestration -- will automatically go into effect. The unending stream of doomsday predictions includes deep cuts to housing, food assistance and jobs. Indian health care is one of the targets hardest hit.

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NPR Story
12:09 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

In The Southwest Who Gets Humanitarian Parole Is Decided By Border Agents

Humanitarian parole is a rare example of empathy in the black and white bureaucracy of immigration policies.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu February 21, 2013

El Paso Leaders: Our Border Is Secure

Photo by Nicole Chavez Fronteras Desk

EL PASO, Texas — The border city of El Paso wants to be a voice in the national debate over immigration reform. Political and community leaders spoke out publicly Wednesday to say enough has been done to secure the border and it's time to move on.

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NPR Story
11:41 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Federal Budget Cuts Could Hit New Mexico Hard

Photo courtesy of LANL.gov Fronteras Desk

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — As the March 1 deadline for automatic federal budget cuts grows closer, New Mexico is bracing itself as one of the states that could be hardest hit. Economists believe the state could lose tens of thousands of jobs.

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NPR Story
7:03 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Identity Theft Arrests Hit Close To Work

PHOENIX — Earlier this month, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies carried out their latest crackdown on unauthorized immigrant labor just blocks from KJZZ's station in Tempe where I work.

Twenty-seven workers were arrested at the manufacturing site for Sportex Apparel, just north of the intersection of 52nd Street and University Drive in Tempe.

The majority of arrested workers were allegedly working under fake identities.

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NPR Story
1:53 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Latino Grocery Chain Profits With Changing Demographics

Fronteras Desk

SAN DIEGO — Customers are raving about the recently opened Northgate Gonzalez supermarket in San Diego’s Barrio Logan.

“I bring my aunt here to get all the Mexican products,” Pati Chavez said in Spanish as she packed her shopping cart with the day’s purchases.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

New Mexico's Relationship With Mexico Is Booming

New Mexico’s relationship with its neighbor to the south has been, to say the least, fruitful. Here’s a telling figure from the Albuquerque Journal:

The value of New Mexico exports to its southern neighbor grew 33 percent last year — from $464.5 million in 2011 to a record $617.6 million in 2012.

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NPR Story
12:59 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Expedited Crossing: Is A SENTRI Pass Worth The Trouble?

US Border Patrol Fronteras Desk

SAN DIEGO — While Washington is preoccupied by “immigration reform” and what many believe to be its essential precursor, “enhanced border security," most of the talk here along the U.S.-Mexican border is about improving border wait times.

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NPR Story
10:16 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Gay Couples Push For Inclusion In Immigration Reform Bill

Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:37 am

SAN DIEGO — Marrying a United States citizen has long been the surest way for an immigrant to gain permanent residency in the U.S. But under current immigration law, this doesn’t apply to same-sex spouses.

That has complicated the lives of people like Jesus Rodriguez and William Wood, one among an estimated tens of thousands of bi-national, permanent same-sex couples trying to stay together despite mixed immigration status.

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NPR Story
7:05 am
Wed February 20, 2013

A Billágaana's Attempt At Understanding

Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — While my colleagues cross the southern border to Mexico to report, I drive across a different type of border in northeastern Arizona to interview the Navajo and Hopi tribes. I am a billágaana (the Navajo word for white person) who lives in Flagstaff, a border town on what's often referred to as "the edge of the Rez."

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NPR Story
7:05 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Mexican Graffiti Artist Creates Stunning Mural In Juarez Skatepark

Minoz is a Mexico City graffiti artist whose work focuses on realism. He and his frequent collaborator Meiz began painting graffiti together at 14 years old.

Minoz y Meiz told Juxtapoz a few years ago, "We have a desire to acknowledge the existence of individual people in their world through large-scale paintings on their streets."

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NPR Story
3:20 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

In Obama's Plan The Pathway To Citizenship Will Take 13 Years

In President Barack Obama’s leaked White House immigration reform proposal, the controversial pathway to citizenship is outlined.

In the draft, undocumented immigrants would have to wait 13 years after the bill passes until they could be naturalized citizens.

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NPR Story
2:58 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Mixed Reviews For Sen. Ted Cruz's D.C. Debut

David Martin Davies Fronteras Desk

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has been on the job seven weeks, and in that short time he’s made a big splash in Washington D.C. Speculation about the dynamic freshman legislator is blistering the blogosphere. Many are wondering what the future holds for Cruz.

The Senate Armed Services Committee hearings for Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel were already tough, but then it was Ted Cruz’s turn to grill and he turned up the heat.

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NPR Story
12:11 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Was The Leaked Immigration Draft A Mistake Or Decoy?

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:14 pm

The White House draft bill on immigration reform was leaked late last week, and Republican lawmakers seized the opportunity to decry it as a top-down proposal — dictating the direction of reform.

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NPR Story
7:14 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Construction Is Coming Back To Phoenix, But Not The Workers

Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX — For several years, the housing community of Lantana at Power Ranch in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert was left partially unfinished. The master-planned community included a smattering of vacant lots, a victim of the housing market crash.

But now the industry here in the Phoenix area is coming back to life, and those last houses are going up.

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NPR Story
7:09 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Best of the Border (2/11-2/16)

Joey Palacios/Texas Public Radio Fronteras Desk

The week's top stories from Fronteras Desk.

Veteran Helps Family Of Fallen Iraqi Comrade Get Safely To U.S.

The troops called him Roy. He was a lanky Iraqi teenager who liked hip-hop and looked too young to be working for the U.S. military.

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NPR Story
3:22 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Corrupt Port Inspector Found Guilty

TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal jury has found a U.S. port inspector guilty of drug charges.

Luis Vasquez worked for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Douglas, Ariz. Court evidence found that Vasquez twice allowed smugglers to traffic marijuana through the port of entry lane he was supposed to be guarding. They smuggled about 1,200 pounds through.

He and others were also found guilty of conspiracy. Vasquez is about the 145th Homeland Security agent to be charged with corruption since 2004. He will be sentenced in April and faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

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NPR Story
4:02 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Facebook Threats A Tactic For Terror

Fronteras Desk

TUCSON, Ariz. — Someone has placed a $47,000 (600,000 peso) bounty on the head of the organizer of an anonymously controlled Facebook page that posts narco-gossip about the state of Tamaulipas. But whether it's real or an elaborate piece of drug-war fiction, it's impossible to know for now.

This is a typical posting on the Valor por Tamaulipas Facebook page:

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NPR Story
2:39 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Moving Memoir Helped Bring An Iraqi Family To Safety

Fronteras Desk

This week I was lucky enough to cover the moving story of an Iraq war veteran and his quest to secure safe passage to the U.S. for the family of his fallen Iraqi interpreter.

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NPR Story
12:52 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Drone Draws What May Be Largest Valentine Ever

Fronteras Desk

A man has created what might be the world’s largest valentine — using a drone.

Our story, The New Definition Of Drones covered the liftoff 3D Robotics — a company that builds and sells personal drones.

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NPR Story
12:38 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

U.S. Veteran Helps Family Of Fallen Iraqi Comrade Get Safely To U.S.

Courtesy of Roy's family Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:22 pm

The troops called him Roy. He was a lanky Iraqi teenager who liked hip-hop and looked too young to be working for the U.S. military.

During nine months of firefights, raids on enemy compounds and long nights on watch in Iraq, Roy interpreted the country's language and culture for the platoon led by U.S. Army Captain Blake Hall.

He helped Hall identify the signs of a hostile neighborhood and impending attacks. The two became very close.

Hall admired Roy’s witty one-liners, but even more so, his bravery.

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NPR Story
12:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Arizona Bill Aims To Limit Police Use Of Drones

Arizona House Bill 2574 attempts to establish the framework of how state law enforcement agencies and hobbyists use unmanned aerial vehicles — or drones.

Here are the bill’s main takeaways:

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NPR Story
7:04 am
Thu February 14, 2013

El Mirador Off Highway 1 In Baja

If you find yourself down majestic Highway 1 in Baja California, Mexico, consider stopping at El Mirador (The Viewpoint). It’s a perched building of swirling steps and walls, overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean.

The vista is 15 minutes outside of Ensenada. It's likely you'll find tourists snapping group photos and speaking a rainbow of languages. But it’s easy to escape the crowd and find places to walk or sit. It’s also free.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Napolitano: Border Secure, But Not Done

David Martin Davies Fronteras Desk

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate Judiciary committee Wednesday that the border is more secure now than ever before. But she said, "are we done? No."

Senators grilled Napolitano about incomplete border fences, taking deportation too far and not taking it far enough. Many challenged her definition of border security.

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NPR Story
12:16 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Two Minute Drill: Immigration Reform During State Of The Union

President Barack Obama covered a lot of territory in Tuesday's State of the Union, but one topic in the big speech that’s being scrutinized is immigration reform.

It took Obama almost exactly an hour to deliver the State of the Union, and 2:18 was dedicated to immigration reform.

“And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform," Obama said.

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NPR Story
7:05 am
Wed February 13, 2013

New Mexico State University First To Offer Student Veteran Campus Housing

Fronteras Desk

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The transition into college is hard enough for most students. It's even harder for military veterans whose life experience differs greatly from their peers.

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NPR Story
3:10 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Mexico's Police Reform Faces Longstanding Challenges

Fronteras Desk

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 3:13 pm

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has announced big changes to federal security forces. On Tuesday experts discussed the challenges police reform faces at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute.

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