The Southwest is a place of great opportunity, enchantment, and grandeur, and yet, also a place of poverty and inequality in the United States. Through its children, it is also a place that will play an expanding and critically important role in either the successes or failures of our nation.
No matter what we call the shared space between Mexico and the U.S., cross-border communities are different from others in their nations. The U.S. must remember that the prosperity of both countries depends on the well-being of our borderland "third nation."
After two decades of emphasis on high security of the U.S.-Mexico border, brute-force policies have left America with costs that are too high, and benefits that are too little. As immigration continues to permeate American political debate, alternative solutions must be explored.
There are no magic words to solve the problems of immigration in the US or drug-related violence in Mexico. Instead, I offer one incontrovertible conclusion regarding the borderlands: the Wall will not work. Here's why.
The Gang of 8's framework for immigration reform mostly deserves praise. It seeks to fill gaps in immigration enforcement, make the legal immigration system more responsive to U.S. economic and labor needs, and create a path to lawful permanent resident status.
I'll concede that there are aspects of border security -- smuggling of human beings, drugs, and arms -- that do demand immediate attention. However, we can't allow the economic and moral imperatives for broad-reaching immigration reform get lost in rhetoric around the border.
Obama did not apologize or backtrack on his position. I disagreed that building a wall -- no matter what size -- would deter immigrants from coming to the United States illegally. But I respected Obama for standing his ground.
Building on the lessons of the past five years, the United States should work with Mexico to implement the nonmilitary programs envisioned in the current Merida framework.
According to current U.S immigration policy, every non-citizen convicted of any charge among a long list of misdemeanor and felony offenses is automatically deported, even if the conviction is for a non-violent offense or one that occurred many years ago.
Much has changed on the U.S.-Mexico border over the last decade, but migrant crossing deaths have continued. From the perspective of the border, this still-unfolding tragedy looks like a good place to restart the trifling U.S. immigration debate.
From the Dustbowl Troubadour's own hard travelling through Tucson, AZ looking for work and food, Woody Guthrie was a friend to migrants and the oppressed.
Despite numerous reports showing a marked decrease in violence in the region, members of Congress continue to characterize the region as an out of control war zone.
Perhaps given the political aridness in Arizona of late, it's understandable that even a cloudy decision looks like a silver lining. Time will tell if it's a mirage or an actual oasis on the horizon...
No one would argue that immigration isn't a third rail issue for the GOP, the only more contentious issue for rank and file House Republicans is the environment. They have unilaterally opposed any movement on environmental legislation.
Border Patrol forces, still growing, have more than doubled in the years since 9/11. As the new uniformed soldiers of the Department of Homeland Security, close to 20,000 Border Patrol agents now occupy the U.S. Southwest.
Just a few blocks away is Arturo Rodriquez's La Caja, a converted warehouse where artists from Tijuana and around the world are beautifully exhibited, and where San Diegans and locals visit for food and wine with their art.