A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


• Mexican who repeatedly re-entered United States illegally gets 10-year term in Arizona
• L.A. Times profiles former grand hotel in Mexicali that now houses Mexicans deported from U.S.
• L.A. Times reports that it appears that U.S. agents have been charged to apprehend and deport more illegal immigrants — in an election year
• It seems that every time MexicoPerspective takes an extended walk around Tijuana, deported Mexicans come up to seek advice — and money

Benjamín López Patiño, a Mexican who has repeatedly re-entered the United States illegally, has been sentenced to 10 years in U.S. prison after being caught crossing the border into Arizona. In 2003, he received an 8-year sentence for re-entering the United States illegally. Story in Frontera (PDF).

The Los Angeles Times on Sunday published a front-page that then took up three full pages inside the newspaper about a former grand hotel now occupied by migrants deported from the United States, many of whom lived in the U.S. for years. The Hotel Centenario now is called El Hotel del Migrante Deportado. The piece, by Richard Marosi, is entitled: "Without a Country: In Mexicali, a haven for broken lives." Story, Los Angeles Times.

On Saturday, the Times published a front-page story by Brian Bennett entitled "U.S. steps up deportation efforts for criminal immigrants." It says "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun to increase by nearly 25% the number of agents tasked with finding and deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records." The paper says documents it obtained show ICE fugitive operations teams have increased from 104 to 129, with each "given a goal has been given a goal of arresting 50 suspects per month." The paper said ICE officials said Friday that no quotas were set. Some observers saw the effort as politically inspired in a presidential election year. Story, Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, it seems that every time MexicoPerspective takes an extended walk around Tijuana, he winds up meeting with deported Mexicans who seek advice — and money. On Thursday, a parking lot security guard past retirement age said that although he became a U.S. citizen in the 1970s and long contributed to Social Security while working at a livestock ranch in the Pacific Northwest, he was deported a few years ago because of a 1979 felony conviction (for a crime he said he did not commit). He said he is in a Catch-22 situation on his Social Security: has been unable to collect on it because he has been told he cannot get it without appearing in person at a Social Security office in the U.S., but can't legally enter the U.S. Another man who said he was recently deported from the U.S. during a roundup at an agricultural site in Oregon wondered whether, because he did not contest the deportation, he could try to re-enter the U.S. after five years so he could be with his U.S.-born children. He was from a conflict-ridden city in Michoacan, and said he was unable to get a job in Tijuana because he needed his birth certificate and also needed to pay for all sorts of other documents required to enter the formal work sector in Mexico. He said he was able to join the new Seguro Popular (Popular Insurance) program to be treated for an illness, but said that did not cover the cost of antibiotics he needed but did not have the money to pay for. He said the government program that buses deported Mexicans to cities near their hometowns still requires migrants to pay a portion of the trip, money he said he did not have, and said he then still would have to get from Guadalajara to his hometown.

The Times' Bennett last month published a good story on border drones. It is entitled:
"Predator drones have yet to prove their worth on border: The nine unmanned aircraft are expensive to operate but their results are unimpressive, critics say. But one official says the criticism is shortsighted." Story, Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times on Sunday published a story on crammed stash houses in Texas where smugglers hold immigrants until their fees are paid: "For Many Illegal Entrants Into U.S., a Particularly Inhospitable First Stop." Story.