Reuters blog archive
from Photographers Blog:
Along the U.S./Mexico border
By Eric Thayer
I’m running through the desert outside a tiny town called Encino with a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter flying above me. As I move through trees and bushes, the sand is soft and every step is an effort. It feels like I am running on the spot as I hold my cameras close so they don’t swing into my sides. Border Patrol agents are all around me and the only noises are the helicopter above, my own labored breathing and the sound of footsteps in the sand.
In south Texas, the Rio Grande River separates the U.S. from Mexico. It is a brown river that varies between 50 to 100 yards across. On the surface, the water looks calm as it meanders through the brush, but it hides swirling currents - just one of the many hazards faced by those who cross. The line between the two countries is imaginary here, but if you could see it as it appears on a map, it would be right in the middle of the river.
At this moment, the border is about 60 miles south. I’m with the U.S. Border Patrol after a report from a local rancher of a group of people crossing over his land. If they make it across the river, through the brush and past the Border Patrol there are vehicles that will take them north. From this part of Texas, there is basically just one checkpoint left, called Falfurrias. If they are able to bypass that, they can move up into other parts of the state and to the rest of the country.
Ahead of me, a Border Patrol agent chases four men and I dash to keep up. They are running from a country, from a war and towards a better life. They are running for freedom. But sometimes it’s not that simple. That’s the thing about it down here - nothing is simple about this.
from Full Focus:
Photographer Eric Thayer travelled to Brooks County, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico to investigate the rising rates of immigrant deaths along the border, spending time at a migrant’s hostel in Mexico and with U.S. Border Patrol in Brooks County. In 2012, sheriff’s deputies in Brooks County found 129 bodies, around double the amount from the year before and six times the number recorded in 2010. Most of those who died succumbed to the punishing heat and rough terrain that comprise the ranch lands of south Texas. Many migrants, after spending several weeks travelling through Mexico and past the Rio Grande, spend a few days in a “stash house”, such as the Casa del Migrante, in Reynosa, Mexico, and many are ignorant of the treacherous journey ahead. Read Eric's personal account here and a Reuters story here.
from Judgement Call:
“Now is the time to [reform immigration laws] so we can strengthen our economy.” So said President Barack Obama on Tuesday as he challenged Congress to give 11 million illegal residents of the United States a road map to citizenship.
“When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs.” So said Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), senior member of the Judiciary Committee, earlier this week.
from Photographers Blog:
By Denis Sinyakov
I don’t remember a time when Moscow hasn’t been flooded with them - migrants from Central Asia.
When I moved here in 1997 they were already here. They had started appearing more than 20 years ago, the time when the Soviet Union was falling apart. Some fled civil wars, but more often they were escaping the awful economic situation in their homelands. Not exactly an escape, but they came to make some money, leaving their families at home. The economic situation in Russia even now isn't enviable, at the beginning of the 1990’s it was woeful, but none the less better than there.
-- John Krubski is an entrepreneur and the architect of The Guardian Life Index: What Matters Most to America’s Small Business Owners. He is currently working on his next book, “Cracking the America Code: How to Get US Back on Track”. The views expressed are his own. --
In their latest book -- "That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back" -- authors Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum maintain that our hope for a happy future lies in how we address four critical issues: resolving the impact of globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and its pattern of energy consumption.
from Reuters Money:
If your financial life spans multiple countries and you've not been paying close attention to your tax issues, be forewarned: This Friday is the deadline for the Internal Revenue Service’s latest offshore tax reporting voluntary disclosure program.
It’s one of those deadlines that most people pay little attention to, despite how much it’s been publicized. It’s the second in a series of IRS efforts — some 15,000 came forward for the previous initiative in 2009 — to bring offshore assets and income into the tax system through a voluntary disclosure program that let taxpayers avoid an array of civil and even criminal penalties (including potential jail time) for foreign income and account violations. Taxpayers who choose the program still face penalties, which may be hefty, but they are far less severe than those the IRS can impose if it uncovers your tax transgressions.
from Photographers Blog:
Carlos, a migrant and three-time deportee, commented to me, “I’ve been there and back, too. I’m a migrant and I want a better future.” Carlos’ brother is one of the 16 Hondurans whose bodies were repatriated on September 1st after being found among the 72 immigrants executed by a drug cartel in Tamaulipas, Mexico, as they neared the border with the U.S.
I couldn’t help thinking of a recent magazine article about 800 expatriate soccer players in Europe and how, according to the author, their story might open doors for other foreign “workers” in this globalized world. It struck me that while many of those athletes were born in the slums of Latin America just like most of the 72 dead migrants, the difference was that their talent made it good business for them to cross borders.
The Arizona law requires state and local police to determine if people are in the country illegally, previously a function carried out by U.S. federal immigration police and some local forces. There are some 10.8 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States, an estimated 460,000 of them in Arizona. The state's immigration law takes effect in late July.
from The Great Debate:
The United States owes Latin American immigrants a debt of gratitude. And Latin American immigrants owe a debt of gratitude to lawmakers in Arizona. How so?
Thanks largely to immigration from Latin America (both legal and illegal) and the higher birth rates of Latin immigrants, the population of the U.S. has kept growing, a demographic trend that sets it apart from the rest of the industrialized world, where numbers are shrinking. That threatens economic growth and in the case of Russia (U.N. projections see a decline from 143 million now to 112 million by 2050) undermines Moscow's claim to Great Power status.
from Mario Di Simine:
If you were a traveler, an illegal immigrant or a “South Park” resident, your world was turned upside down in the past week. A volcano wreaked havoc on travelers, Arizona wreaked havoc on illegal immigrants and a little-known Muslim group wreaked havoc on “South Park.” Good for us, though, as all those made for great headlines that you, dear readers, pushed to the very top of our weekly rankings chart.
We begin in Arizona, the desert with the great big hole in it. The state, which the U.S. census says is 86.5 percent white, voted 17-11 in favor of a bill that requires police to determine if people are in the U.S. illegally. It raised a brouhaha (I've waited weeks to use that word) because some folks think it will lead to racial profiling. "I believe handcuffs are a wonderful tool when they're on the right people," said Russell Pearce, the Republican state senator who wrote the bill. Nice.