The “Border Beat” (August 1, 2008)

Most things in this country slow down in the first weeks of August as people take vacations. I wonder if the same holds for news? Of course, important things are happening all the time but if we don’t know about them, what then?

This week’s”Border Beat” is an all-you-can-eat bar of the news from Latino USA.

• “Is U.S. losing its appeal for illegal immigrants?” (San Jose Mercury News)
This article is an average collection of some of the information regarding the “drop” in the “illegal” population. For that, it is worth reading. But the title? Does anyone else not see a problem here? It just embraces the entire problematic of creating the undocumented as an essential and fixed (and criminal) thing. If they are not here illegally, they are not “illegals” no are they? We wouldn’t ask if people who go to the beach aren’t going to the beach, now would we?

• “Mexico sees decline in immigrant remittances” (AP)
We see one of the best measurements for the economic recession inspired decline in labor immigration to the United States.

• “Latino neighborhood slowly disappearing in central Mesa” (Arizona Republic)
A strange but interesting story about the gradual disappearance of Latinos from a small town in Arizona.  It reads as though its the “perfect storm” of factors.

• “San Francisco’s Sanctuary Dilemma” (Time)
The city by the bay’s “sanctuary” policy has gotten a bad rap of late.  Most of this stems from the radical right’s indictment of anything that is humane toward immigrants.  But even more is resulting from a horrific murder in the city.  This is a fairly balanced article on the whole thing.

• “Vast Majority of African American and Latino Middle-Class Families Are on Shaky Financial Ground” (Democracy Now!)
What a depressing conclusion from a new report discussed on this audio program.  Many of the issues they discuss are rooted in the historic system of white supremacy in which we continue to live.  It serves as a bold reminder of the need for continued struggle to create a more equitable society.

• “Sizzle, but not much fajita” (Palm Beach Post)
This is a humorous but insightful opinion piece from a small regional paper.  In these days of rampant ICE raids and unfounded suggestions that the Bush administration is winning the war on illegals, it is a good suggestion to keep this in perspective.

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