NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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Foreign News Report
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.
Some pertinent items during the Christmas Holidays
La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 12/21/09
Central America pushing for its version of U.S. immigration reform legislation
Salvadoran Chancellor (Sec. of State) Hugo Martinez announced that the Central American countries are reconciling and negotiating a proposal about the immigration issue to present it to the U.S. government so that it may be considered for a migratory reform being debated in Washington. Martinez explained that currently Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador have agreed upon a document which contains the most important aspects regarding a regional proposal so that it may be included in the debate about migratory reform. There are approximately 14 million undocumented persons in the United States, of which 8 million are Mexicans. Officially, it is not known how many might be Central American, but those from El Salvador alone could reach a million persons. The agreed-upon document has been delivered to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama & Belize so that they may join in and thus strengthen a joint vision. Vice- Chancellor Juan Garcia, in charge of the Salvadoran community abroad, explained that this is the first time that such a document has been prepared as a joint regional effort, and that it deals with “the reality being experienced by the Central American community in the United States.”
Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 12/31/09
Ecuador joins Latin push for U.S. immigration reform
Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Relations [equiv. Dep’t. of State] has reportedly sent a diplomatic note to its counterpart in Guatemala & El Salvador manifesting its support to their regional initiative promoting 11 issues which the U.S. Congress must include in the immigration reform legislation introduced by Congr. Gutierrez (D-IL) on Dec. 15. Among the issues: the “migratory regularization” of the fellow countrymen who reside in the U.S., including permanent residence for agricultural workers, for those who have studied there, and family reunification. “Comigua”, the Guatemalan Immigrants’ Coalition, will lobby for approval of the proposal beginning early in January and will seek out congressmen, senators, civic leaders and other functionaries as part of the campaign.
La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 1/2/10
El Salvador: a violent country
El Salvador’s National Civil Police reported that the country had 4,365 homicides in 2009, a daily average of 12. There were 16 on Christmas Day. 70% of victims were between 18 & 40 years of age. [El Salvador is smaller than Massachusetts but has a slightly higher population.]
Armada Nacional de Colombia (Bogota, Colombia) 12/31/09
More Africans being smuggled
Seventy-one Africans, from Somalia and Eritrea, were found by Colombian Coast Guard personnel aboard a launch that had broken down near Isla Fuerte, off Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The 71 had entered Colombia illegally and were reportedly en route to Central America. The crew had previously abandoned the craft, presumably due to mechanical problems.
La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 1/2/10
Latin States of America [Portions of an op/col. by Humberto Moreno, titled as shown]
In the last decade, Hispanics have not only become the first minority of the colossus of the north, surpassing the African-Americans, but they have also not failed to gain prestige in the most competitive society of the world without losing their roots: their mother language and their traditions, among them the majority Catholic fervor. The Hispanic increment has been such that today we can claim that the first black President of the United States sits in the White House thanks to the Latino vote, of which he carried nothing less than 67% versus the 31% for McCain. And we can say it because more than 10 million Hispanics went to vote that day, some 32% more than in the 2004 presidential elections, thus demonstrating their political compromise with their new country.
Candidates know that Latino power is unstoppable and for that reason their campaigns speak Spanish, not so much because Hispanics may not speak Shakespeare’s language, but because they know that language is one of the identity signs which the immigrants keep on the other side of the Rio Grande even when they are totally assimilated. Today, contrary to the decades from the fifties to the eighties, Latinos don’t have to renounce their mother language in order to become integrated. The pride for Spanish is perceived in New York, Miami, Chicago or Los Angeles, to the point that one can believe he hasn’t left his house even though he may be strolling through Manhattan. It’s an irreparable contagion, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Spanish is the predominant language.
The United States Bureau of the Census estimates that the Hispanic population will double in 2050: of the 400 million residents, 49% will be white-Caucasian, 28% will be Hispanic, 12% black and 6% Asian. That is to say, for the first time since it was founded, the “wasps” (white, protestant) will be a minority. Nearly 12% of executive rank officials in the Obama Administration are Latinos, and 50 are high positions, among them two women: Judge Sotomayor in the Supreme Court and Hilda Solis, brand new Secretary of Labor.
The future is Hispanic, as Lula da Silva discovered more than five years ago when promoting the study of Spanish in Brazil, for the purpose of making it co-official by mid-century. It is time that we Hispanics (Europeans, North Americans, Caribbeans and Latin Americans) join forces until we reach a possible dream: the Latin States of America. Further, the next ten years are key so that the first female President of the United States may be surnamed Gonzalez.
La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 1/3/09
Beautiful & beloved Mexico, crumbling and without a future
[Portions of an op/col., titled as above, by Jorge Ramos, a syndicated columnist and news anchorman with a Spanish language TV network in the U.S.]
After 25 years of internal conflict, I finally learned to live in two countries. I don’t have to choose. I work in the United States, a country which has given me endless opportunities, and one which I’ve learned to admire. My children also live there. But I return to Mexico continuously, where my family still lives – to feed my spirit. The problem is that you can’t live from the spirit alone. That’s known by the more than 100 million Mexicans who daily face a permanent economic crisis, drug violence – 5,000 dead in the last three years – and an H1N1 flu epidemic that does not yield. Mexico, with its friends, loves and long dinner table conversations, protects even the most vulnerable one. One eats better, I’m sure, than in the majority of the world’s countries. There are no beaches or vistas as beautiful. And, even so, Mexicans keep thinking about leaving. Why? One doesn’t have to dig deep to know the reason.
A recent Pew Global Attitudes poll found that the majority of Mexicans is dissatisfied with the direction the country has taken. 81 percent believe criminality is an enormous problem, 75 percent complain about the economy and 68 percent consider that their political leaders are corrupt. This is not new. When I left Mexico a quarter of a century ago, crimes due to drug traffic were not a central issue, but we already complained bitterly. It’s as if Mexico were a country of permanent crises. Some courageous and optimistic persons decided to stay to try to change the country from the inside. Others of us thought that we couldn’t wait two or three decades for the country to change, and thus we decided to change countries. And we left. As a fact, last year the Census Bureau counted 11,412,668 persons born in Mexico, living in the United States.
The truth is that no one wants to leave their country. Why leave your parents, your friends, the places where you grew up? One leaves his country because something expels you from there. President Felipe Calderon himself acknowledged in October that the number of those in poverty grew from 14 million to 20 million. And there’s also something that pulls the emigrant to the other side. [“the other side” and “the north” are common expressions in Mexico when referring to the U.S.] The majority of Mexicans believe that life is better if you move to the United States. Suffice it to say that, on average, a U.S. citizen earns four times as much as a Mexican. The current economic crisis has halted the departure of more Mexicans to the United States. Until quite recently, some half million Mexicans left for the United States per year. Today, that flow has stopped and even reversed a bit. But it’s only a temporary situation.
As soon as the economic recovery takes hold, millions of more Mexicans will see their only opportunity for a decent life in the north; If not for themselves, then at least for their children. The U.S. was the first country that fell into the current world economic crisis, and will be the first one to recover. Therefore, I foresee an enormous migratory wave from south to north soon [emphasis added.] Mexico would need to create at least a million jobs a year to stay even with its growing labor force. But it can’t. Youths don’t obtain good jobs, and see the north as their last recourse. They don’t want to go but they have to go.
Mexico, beautiful and beloved. Yes. But for millions of Mexicans, it is also distant, crumbling and without a future.
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