Bill would ban eminent domain for border wall

Article by Madlin Mekelburg, USA Today Network Austin Bureau

AUSTIN — Two Democratic congressmen on Wednesday announced plans to introduce a bill that would prevent the federal government from seizing private property to build President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.

U.S. Reps. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, and Ruben Gallego, D-Arizona, said they expect to introduce their legislation — called the Protecting the Property Rights of Border Landowners Act — in the House next week. 

O'Rourke said the wall, which could cost between $20 billion and $25 billion, would place an additional burden on Texas property owners because because "that wall will be built not on the international boundary line between the United States and Mexico. It will be built in the U.S. and much of it will be on U.S. property owners’ land."

"We do not need a 2,000 mile, 30-foot high wall separating us from Mexico," O'Rourke said, adding that it would not improve safety or deter people looking to enter the country.  Read More

Keeping children in school is a top priority of FECHAC, a Juárez charity

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In poor, marginalized areas of Ciudad Juárez, FECHAC is providing pre-school, primary and secondary children with enrichment programs in artistic, academic and physical areas. All this and more will be discussed at the forum, October 1st at 2:30 in the El Paso Public Library downtown. Street parking is free on Sundays.  To learn more about keeping kids in school, click here.

Learn from an impressive Juárez charitable institution, FECHAC

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FECHAC is assisting families in Juárez who lost appliances and other household items during the severe windstorms and floods that slammed the city this past summer. Learn more at our forum Sunday, October 1, 2:30 pm at the El Paso Public Library. Street parking is free on Sundays. Read more

Are you wondering what "la trumba" was like. Watch this video:  

Join Us! Forum on Innovative Approaches to Fighting Poverty in Ciudad Juárez

Sunday, October 1st, 2:30-4:30 PM

Fernando Avila, Director of FECHAC

El Paso Public Library downtown, 501 N. Oregon (free street parking on Sunday)

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FECHAC (Fundacion del Empresariado Chihuahuense, A.C.) is a non-profit and independent grant-making foundation in Chihuahua supported by more than 34,000 corporations in the state.  Its purpose is to address critical community needs in Juárez and elsewhere in the state in three program areas: quality basic education, preventive health, and creation of social capital. FECHAC promotes corporate social responsibility, civic engagement, and the strengthening of civil society organizations.  Working through FECHAC, the business community, government entities, and civil society have thus far implemented more than 4,200 projects.

 

The border wall--even a child can look over it

GREGORY BULL / ASSOCIATED PRESS A U. S. Border Patrol vehicle drives in front of the huge photo of a toddler in Tecate, Mexico, just beyond a border barrier.

GREGORY BULL / ASSOCIATED PRESS A U. S. Border Patrol vehicle drives in front of the huge photo of a toddler in Tecate, Mexico, just beyond a border barrier.

From Julie Watson and the AP and Albuquerque Journal:  

"TECATE, Calif. - A photo of a giant toddler stands in Mexico and peers over a steel wall dividing the country from the United States.

The boy appears to grip the barrier with his fingers, leaving the impression the entire thing could be toppled with a giggle.

A French artist who goes by the moniker " JR " erected the cut-out of the boy that stands nearly 65 feet ( 20 meters ) tall and is meant to prompt discussion of immigration.

On Friday, a steady stream of people drove to the remote section of wall near the Tecate border crossing, about 40 miles southeast of San Diego. Border Patrol agents warned visitors to keep the dirt road clear for their patrols and not pass anything through the fence."  READ MORE

FACT CHECK: Are DACA Recipients Stealing Jobs Away From Other Americans?

Photo by Niskanen Center

Photo by Niskanen Center

By Danielle Kurtzleben, NPR

"In announcing the president's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stressed the legal arguments for that decision.

But he also made the economic case for ending DACA, saying Tuesday that the beneficiaries of the program ended up denying jobs "to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs."

The overwhelming majority of DACA recipients are employed, according to a recent survey from the left-leaning Center for American Progress. But is it true that DACA recipients took those jobs at the expense of other Americans?"  Read More

Mexico needs to advocate for wage increases in NAFTA talks

Martínez at the Fondo de Cultura Economica in Mexico, DF

Martínez at the Fondo de Cultura Economica in Mexico, DF

An op-ed in the El Paso Times by Social Justice team member Oscar J Martínez.

As NAFTA negotiations proceed, will Mexico advocate for improvement of the paltry wages in its export-oriented assembly manufacturing sector, namely the maquiladora industry? That issue should be a matter of high priority, but I doubt it will be.

Mexico’s negotiators, who mostly represent business interests, will strive to retain the country’s “competitiveness,” and that means keeping wages at the lowest level possible. This is long-standing government practice.  Read More

Federal Judge Tosses Texas Voter ID Law

In her second ruling on the Texas Senate Bill, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said changes made to 2011 voter ID law did not "fully ameliorate" its "discriminatory intent." LM Otero/AP

In her second ruling on the Texas Senate Bill, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said changes made to 2011 voter ID law did not "fully ameliorate" its "discriminatory intent."

LM Otero/AP

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos issued a permanent injunction against the law on Wednesday. In her ruling, the judge wrote that changes made to the law did not "fully ameliorate" practices she said were "enacted with discriminatory intent — knowingly placing additional burdens on a disproportionate number of hispanic and African-American voters." Read More

Want to learn about the relationship between the US and MX?

Have you been wondering about the relationship between Mexico and the US--especially since all the Trump foolishness--yet don't want to commit to an old fashioned textbook? Try this easy to comprehend 30 page booklet written by one of our Social Justice team, Oscar J. Martínez.

This booklet explores the role of Mexico’s interaction with the United States and assesses the impact of geography on shaping the destiny of the Mexican people. Historically the United States has exerted overwhelming influence over the way that Mexico has developed economically. Most importantly, in the mid-nineteenth century the United States undermined Mexico’s long-term development by dispossessing its neighbor of its most valuable lands, imposing a border that has heavily favored U.S. interests, and paving the way for the dominant U.S. economy to compete more closely and more directly with the much weaker Mexican economy. As a result of these events, Mexicans have had to struggle to build their country under the shadow of the powerful United States, not unlike small retailers who try to survive in the face of crushing competition from a Wal-Mart megastore located uncomfortably nearby.

It's time to shut down myths about affirmative action

Photo thanks to One Page News

Photo thanks to One Page News

An ob-ed piece by Nick Jimenez in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times:  

Donald Trump never lets a class or racial resentment go without being poked.

If white Americans are out of a job, then the reason are those Mexican illegal immigrants who are taking those jobs.

If factories are closing, then it's because the jobs are going to Mexico.

Read more

When Juarez Sneezes, El Paso Catches a Cold

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By JONATHAN HIRSCH  "There’s a saying in West Texas: when Juarez sneezes, El Paso catches a cold. These two cities are inextricably tied by region and by culture. And it’s been that way for centuries—sister cities divided only by the border fence and the Rio Grande.

It’s this relationship that some in El Paso see as being strained by a new law known as Senate Bill 4 (SB 4). It’s been called Texas’ “sanctuary cities” law, and it takes effect on September 1. SB 4 will require police officers to perform some duties once reserved for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Some in El Paso’s law enforcement community have expressed concern that this will make it harder for police to do their job."  Read the rest of the article or listen on NPR:

 

Texas cuts aid to communities along border

In this Wednesday, July 12, 2017 photo, a boy rides a horse through Indian Hills East colonia near Alamo, Texas. Texas has more than 2,300 of these communities, known as colonias, that have sprung up around towns and provide shelter to Hispanic immigrant families, most of whom are in the U.S. legally, but others not. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this Wednesday, July 12, 2017 photo, a boy rides a horse through Indian Hills East colonia near Alamo, Texas. Texas has more than 2,300 of these communities, known as colonias, that have sprung up around towns and provide shelter to Hispanic immigrant families, most of whom are in the U.S. legally, but others not. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

By PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press

"...Texas has more than 2,300 of these communities known as colonias.... For decades, the villages have sprung up around cities as a home for poor Hispanic immigrant families. Some are shantytowns with neither drinkable water nor waste disposal, and since the 1990s, the state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to improve the worst and stop new ones from forming.

But that commitment is now being questioned. In the last few months, Texas lawmakers cut university budgets that help give immunizations and health checkups to children and others in the colonias. They did not renew a key program that provides running water and sewer service. And this summer, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott abruptly shuttered the office that since 1999 has coordinated the work of various agencies in the communities."  Read the entire article

Six Things That Could Topple Trump's Border Wall

Photo from BBC News

Photo from BBC News

"Donald Trump’s promise to build a "big, beautiful wall" between the US and Mexico was a rallying cry throughout his election campaign.

As president, Mr Trump has asked for design ideas for the barrier, with a chosen few to be selected this month for a prototype showcase this summer in San Diego, California.

Mr Trump says he wants a wall along half the 2,000-mile (3,100km) border - with nature, such as mountains and rivers, helping to take care of the rest.

However, the route crosses difficult terrain, is home to a lot of wildlife and cuts across land owned by Native American tribes as well as private citizens.

So is building the wall actually possible? Here are some of the obstacles Mr Trump will have to overcome.  Read the BBC News article, which is filled with graphics: