Los Algodones, Baja California; Mexico

This is not the End of the World, but you can see it from here!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mexico 14 Killed More May Die

14 killed in Mexico road accident

At least 14 people died and 19 others were injured Thursday when a bus collided with a freight truck in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora, authorities said.

The accident happened before dawn on the road connecting Ciudad Obregon with Guaymas, the state coordinator for emergency services, Carlos Jesus Arias, said.

So far there are 14 people dead, the official said, adding that the injured were taken to two hospitals in Ciudad Obregon.

The bodies recovered at the scene are completely burnt and will be difficult to identify, Arias said.

The crash was apparently caused by an attempt by the driver of the bus, en route to the border metropolis of Tijuana, to pass a cantaloupe-laden truck on a bridge, he said.

Some of the 19 injured survivors are in critical condition, authorities said.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Immigrants will now get Mexican Birth Certificates in the United States

Immigrants Can Now Get Mexican Birth Certificates in US

The Mexican government on Thursday will start issuing birth certificates to its citizens at consulates in the United States, seeking to make it easier for them to apply for U.S. work permits, driver's licenses and protection from deportation.
Until now, Mexico has required citizens to get birth certificates at government offices in Mexico. Many of those living in the U.S. ask friends and relatives back home to retrieve them, which can delay their applications for immigration or other programs.
Now, even as Republicans in Congress try to quash President Barack Obama's reprieve to millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S., Mexico is trying to help them apply for programs that would allow them to remain temporarily in the country and continue sending money back to relatives across the border.
"It is a huge help. It helps individuals really begin to formulate their formal identity in this country," said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
About half of the 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally are from Mexico, and immigration experts estimate that roughly 3 million Mexicans could be eligible to apply for work permits and protection from deportation under the administration's plan.
About two weeks ago, California — which is home to more Mexicans than any other state — began issuing driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally.
Starting Thursday, the country's 50 consulates in the United States will be able to access data maintained by regional governments in Mexico and print birth certificates at the consulates, said Arturo Sanchez, consul for press and commercial affairs in Santa Ana, California.
Consulates should be able to issue birth certificates for nearly all birthplaces in Mexico, but some rural villages where documents are not digitally recorded may not be covered, Sanchez said.
Over the past year, the Santa Ana consulate has seen a surge in the demand for documents. Daily appointments have jumped by a third to nearly 400, with many people trying to get birth certificates, Sanchez said.
Mexican immigrants usually seek birth certificates to obtain a passport or consular identification card so they can then apply for a driver's license or immigration relief, he said.
In California, Mexican consular officials have supported the rollout of the new driver's license program, holding information sessions and offering test preparation classes to help immigrants pass the written test required to get a license.
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, said she believes Mexico is trying to make it easier for its citizens to stay here because of the money they send across the border.
Mexican migrant workers, many who live in the United States, sent home $21.6 billion to their families in 2013, according to the country's central bank.
Vaughan, whose organization advocates for tighter limits on immigration, said the integrity of birth certificates is critical because they are used to issue key identity documents like passports.
"If we can trust the Mexican government to do its due diligence and establish a system with integrity, then this will work and it is up to us to make sure we are communicating with them about what we need to see in terms of integrity," she said. "That is a big if."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Deported But, they Don't get to take belongings and Life with them

Derek Lucas Reyes, 20, went from being undocumented in the U.S. to undocumented in his native Mexico.
He sits at a table after breakfast in a shelter filled with people recently deported from the U.S. to Nogales, Sonora. At his feet is a paper shopping bag the Department of Homeland Security gave him for his belongings. Inside the bag: his deportation paperwork, a toothbrush, toothpaste and some other necessities he got from Mexican aid workers.
Lucas Reyes just finished serving a 30-day federal sentence for illegal crossing. When he was caught by the Border Patrol in the Arizona desert, he says, he had a backpack of essentials.
"I had an ID, money and a cellphone that I didn't get back. In that phone were phone numbers for my family who could've given me shelter. Now I have nothing — no money and no way to contact people I know," he says.
A report released Wednesday by the humanitarian group No More Deaths says it's not an unusual situation. The U.S. government is deporting thousands of people back to Mexico without their belongings, and according to the report, they're being sent back without money (they used up everything being held in Detention) or identification cards (As ID was considered Fake).
"It's every day," says David Hill, co-author of the report. It's based on more than 14,000 cases out of Arizona and echoes similar findings by University of Arizona researchers borderwide.
Roughly one-third of people deported to Mexico were missing something. Here's how it seems to happen: When people are arrested, they go from Border Patrol custody to U.S. Marshals to local jails or to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Their property stays behind.
"It doesn't get transferred to where it needs to be for the person to receive it upon deportation and it gets destroyed after 30 days — declared abandoned and destroyed," Hill says.
Under the U.S. Constitution, property should be held only if it's evidence in a crime or was actually used to commit a crime — neither of which seems to be the case here. The Department of Homeland Security oversees both ICE and Customs and Border Protection. In an email, DHS spokeswoman Marsha Catron writes the agency has standards to ensure detainees' property is safeguarded and returned when they are released or deported. "Any allegation of missing property will be thoroughly investigated," the email says.
Among the most problematic charges are missing IDs and missing money. Hill says when people do get their money back, it's often in a form utterly useless in Mexico.
"We're talking about checks that are drawn on U.S. banks and cannot be deposited in Mexican banks, whether you have an account or not, whether you have an ID or not," Hill says.
Lucas Reyes has no money or ID, so he's worried about traveling 2,000 miles to his home in the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, next to Central America.
"Mexican authorities could think I'm illegally in the country. I could be kidnapped because people might assume I'm not from Mexico," he says.
Among other recommendations, the No More Deaths report calls for DHS to work harder to keep people and their property together — and to return money in cash.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Transition Back to Mexico for Deportees to be eased.

Initiative eases transition back to Mexico for deportees

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)
NOGALES, Sonora, Mexico -- Deported after 25 years in the United States on domestic violence charges, Jose Castellea stepped off a bus here at the border gate eight days ago with only the clothes on his back and a few belongings.
"The first time you're scared when you're here in Mexico," Castellea said. "Now, well I have to be here the rest of my life."
Until he figured out how to get to relatives in Guadalajara, Castellea was able to find food and shelter for a week through the Kino Border Initiative operated by Roman Catholic groups.
Since 2009, the legally incorporated binational organization has provided an Aid Center for Deported Migrants serving two meals a day, a Nazareth House shelter for migrant women and children and a First Aid Station for migrants.
The Rev. Sean Carroll, a Jesuit priest who serves as executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, said many of those deported through Nogales are vulnerable and that his group offers aid, research and advocacy to create a more humane experience.
"We're moving towards a time when I think we have a border that truly is humane, where there is binational collaboration and where the humanity of the migrant man woman and child is respected," Carroll said.
A 20-minute walk from the port of entry or a brief drive for Mexican migration officials, the initiative offers each migrant help for eight days. After that, migrants generally return to their hometowns with bus tickets subsidized by the Mexican government or stay in Nogales, though some will attempt to cross the border again, Carroll said.
Sister Alicia Guevara Perez, a migrant aid coordinator, said although the inititiative helps people the work can be challenging emotionally.
"I've been here with them for a year, and I've learned to guide them, listen to their stories," Guevara Perez said. "However, I know I need to disconnect myself a little from the reality they live so I can continue helping them."
This day, Guevara Perez served as the coordinator for dinner. Throughout the meal she interacted with the migrants and offered prayers for those interested.
"Being here is a way to show them that they're not alone," she said. "We worry about their reality and their situation, and that all of us need to unite to provide them with that support."
The Rev. Peter Neeley, assistant director of education, said faith in God isn't required, though he does offer prayer and confession as a way to help the migrants.
"That's very intimate, it's therapy for them in the sense they just get rid of all that they've been carrying around," Neeley said.
The Kino Border Initiative's annual report for 2012 said it brought in $781,651 in grants and donations. Its largest expenditures were for humanitarian assistance and education: $175,689 and $105,663, respectively.
Carroll said as much as the program is for migrants it has created a strong opportunity for advocacy and education on both sides of the border.
"On the U.S. side a lot of our focus has been deportation and detention issues, and on the Mexican side it's really been robberies by police in Mexico," he said.
Last year, American University prepared a report for the Kino Border Initiative noting that Central Americans were three times more likely to fall prey to police than Mexican nationals.
Another area for advocacy, Carroll said, is nighttime deportations.
"It violates their dignity to be deported at night and put their lives at risk by putting the situation in where they''re in Nogales, Sonora, in the middle of the night with people from organized crime waiting for them," he said.
Inside the gates of the aid center, the Kino Border Initiative provides a safe place for Castellea and other migrants.
After receiving a hot meal and some clothes, Castellea took his bag and left for Guadalajara.
"I feel bad you know because the people are good here," he said. "I don't want to go, but I have to go."

North Mexican Border Areas Are Safe

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Acapulco Warning

US Embassy in Mexico Issues Security Warning for Acapulco 

 Mexico News
US Embassy in Mexico Issues Security ...
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico has issued a security warning on Saturday, urging U.S. citizens to avoid Acapulco due to violence and protests. The protests have escalated in recent ..

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Brave Boy undergoes operation

Absolutely huge tumor removed from boy, 11

It took 25 medical professionals and 12 hours to remove a massive tumor from an 11-year-old Mexican boy who had traveled to the US for help. They  describes the growth on the neck, shoulder, and upper torso of Jose Antonio Ramirez Serrano's left side as football-sized: almost a foot long and 4 inches wide and deep. The operation took place Monday at the University of New Mexico Hospital and was "two years in the making," says Kristean Alcocer, a ministry coordinator for the First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho, which helped get Jose to the US. The church members came upon the boy during a missionary visit to Ciudad Juarez in 2012 and learned his parents had hit a dead end in terms of getting medical help for Jose in Mexico.
A humanitarian visa was arranged for Jose, who KOAT reported was born with a golfball-sized growth, and he arrived in New Mexico in July of that year; he's been traveling back and forth to receive treatment since. Reuters describes lymphangiomas as rare lymphatic system "malformations." Though the tumor itself is benign, Jose's parents say its size led to eyesight complications, limited his movement on the left side, and grew into his trachea, which the El Paso Times reports hampered his breathing. The church has raised funds for the treatment, and Alcocer says his medical expenses have been covered. He'll be in the hospital for at least a month; in future surgeries, his shoulder bone will be rebuilt, and excess skin will be removed.
This story originally appeared on Newser: