Fronteras: Before any immigration reform can happen, Homeland Security needs to prove the border is secure. Some border residents say that's just a numbers game. We also take a critical look at border drones and how proposed immigration reform is giving new hope for family reunions in Mexico. Also,the professional sports teams in Phoenix are trying to cultivate new fans across the border.
The so-called Gang-of-Eight are still working to hammer out an immigration reform bill, despite criticism from conservatives who call it a "bad bill."
San Antonio Congressman Joaquín Castro is looking forward to seeing a comprehensive immigration package this year. He said he believes the bi-partisan group will be able to meet the standards that constituents expect.
As Congress debates future guest worker programs, unresolved issues remain with both current and past guest workers. Also on the show: A multi-part series on deportation. We look at the children left behind when parents are deported and what happens to the kids deported by the United States.
Fronteras: For several decades mules have delivered mail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but now the company that runs the mule train plans to stop the package service. Plans to ship nuclear waste from leaky tanks in the state of Washington to New Mexico are stirring up an old debate about the storage of toxic waste. Also, filmmaker Rodrigo Gudiño tells us about his latest work, which is fueled by his earliest memories of being horrified by religious images.
Sen. John Cornyn and Congressman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, have introduced a bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a national strategy plan to secure the border.
The Border Security Results Act of 2013 would require Homeland Security to develop and implement such a plan within 180 days of its passage and report periodically to congress.
McCaul cited points of entry near Tucson and San Diego as secure crossings, but said the entire border needs the same reinforcement.
Credit Jason Cato / Courtesy of Workers Defense Project
Marchers at the state capitol building in Austin, Texas, in February protest working conditions in the state's construction sector.
Credit Jack White / Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News
Two workers died when a crane collapsed under windy conditions at a University of Texas, Dallas, campus site in July 2012. OSHA cited the construction company with six serious safety violations and levied a $30,000 penalty.
Like almost everything in the Texas, the construction industry in the Lone Star State is big. One in every 13 workers here is employed in the state's $54 billion-per-year construction industry.
Homebuilding and commercial construction may be an economic driver for the state, but it's also an industry riddled with hazards. Years of illegal immigration have pushed wages down, and accidents and wage fraud are common. Of the nearly 1 million workers laboring in construction here, approximately half are undocumented.
On Fronteras: San Diego is in the forefront of a competition to attract big players in the drone industry. New classes in San Diego focus on students struggling to master English. A small population of Muslims have made Tijuana their home. Even though many border crossings are illegal, they play a big role in family identity and history.
In 1998, writer/director David Riker explored New York City’s Latin American immigrant population through the anthology film “La Ciudad,” a film striking for its documentary-like feel. Although he planned to follow up that film with another narrative feature about the US-Mexico border, the wealth of information and research he came across led him to change some of the preconceived notions he had about la frontera.
As different political voices in Washington D.C. lay out their views for what immigration reform should look like, San Antonio Congressman Lamar Smith described his litmus test for viable immigration reform.
Smith is seen an influential vote needed for immigration reform to pass the House and said there are three elements that must be included in any proposal.
"First of all we need to secure both our border and our interior," he said.