Border & Immigration

Lorne Matalon

On Fronteras:

-- People in Mexico are tired of government corruption, violence, and of not feeling safe. Mexicans are protesting in ways they haven’t and some journalists are also getting bolder. Get this story from Marfa Public Radio’s Fronteras reporter, Lorne Matalon.

-- Some Republicans are trying to change or repeal the Texas Dream Act this legislative session. The Act allows certain undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at colleges in the state.

-- We bring you a story about how art is helping refugees in Houston define and share their experiences.

Crystal Chavez

Several lawmakers have already filed bills to repeal the Texas Dream Act. Texas’ incoming lieutenant governor, Sen. Dan Patrick, has vowed to repeal it during the 84th legislative session, which begins Tuesday. And Governor-elect Gregg Abbott has said if one of the bills lands on his desk, he would not veto it.

Katie Schoolov

On Fronteras:

-- Outrage over the murders of 43 students continues in Mexico. In parts of the country, the killings appear to have led to a slightly more robust media.

-- The police department in a California border town is under investigation by the FBI. The new police chief of Calexico says the department is plagued by extortion and professional misconduct.

-- Author Michele Serros died recently of cancer. She wrote about her struggles to fit in and bicultural life as a young Chicana writer. We remember Serros and her impact on the literary world.

-- Schools in Pasadena, Texas, are experimenting with “charlas” or talks. The idea is to help students by coaching their parents through informal meetings.

Drones Are Of Little Or No Help Along The Border: DHS Audit

Jan 8, 2015

The Washington Post reports that a federal audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector-General had found “little or no evidence” that the fleet of drones deployed for surveillance along the nation’s borders was effective in that surveillance. The Post reported the audit had revealed that for fiscal year 2013, it cost $12,255 per flight hour to operate the drones, five times more than the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates the drones, had estimated. The report said the drones, launched from bases in Texas, Arizona, Florida and North Dakota, were “not meeting flight-hour goals,” and the CBP could not “demonstrate how much the program has improved border security.” The report said that in Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, in 2013, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of those stopped at the border, were because of drone detection in any way. The CBP has disputed the inspector-general’s findings and said the report had been “cherry-picking statistics.”

More non-Mexicans were apprehended at the southern border than Mexicans in 2014 and apprehensions of Mexicans have fallen to a historic low. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro talks with Jeff Passel of the Pew Research Center.

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