Mexico | KUOW News and Information

Mexico

Updated October 20

Construction crews are erecting eight looming prototypes of President Trump's border wall in a remote section of the San Diego borderlands. Four are solid concrete; four are made of steel and concrete; one is topped with spikes. They all approach 30 feet in height. Customs and Border Protection is paying $20 million to six construction companies from Mississippi, Maryland, Alabama, Texas and Arizona. Crews in white hardhats operating cranes and forklifts are expected to complete the models by the end of the month.

Sure, it's been known to rain cats and dogs during some heavy thunderstorms. And if we're to believe The Weather Girls — and who wouldn't? — it was even raining men that one time in 1982.

But fish? That feels like a new one.

After months of competition and preparation, contractors broke ground Tuesday on eight prototypes for President Trump's long-promised border wall. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that the companies would have about 30 days to complete construction on their prototypes in San Diego.

"We are committed to securing our border and that includes constructing border walls," CBP's acting deputy commissioner, Ronald Vitiello, said in a statement Tuesday.

Friends and family in Mexico City write a thank you to people in Seattle who contributed to the earthquake victims.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

SAN GREGORIO ATLAPULCO, MEXICO - A week after Mexico City’s devastating earthquake, donations continue to pour in. One came this week from Seattle and was delivered by hand to a hard hit town. KUOW's Liz Jones just happened to be nearby.


The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the selection of four construction companies to build concrete prototypes of the wall President Trump plans to build along with border with Mexico.

Each prototype will be 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide, and cost between $400,000 and about $500,000.

The four companies are Caddell Construction of Montgomery, Ala.; Fisher Sand and Gravel/DBA Fisher Industries of Tempe, Ariz.; Texas Sterling Construction of Houston, Texas; and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia, Miss.

courtesy Agenda Migrante

As some Dreamers feel less welcome in the U.S., Mexico is making a play to attract them back. A small delegation from Mexico recently visited Seattle to meet with local officials, advocates and undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.


An immigrant detainee knits at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

President Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigration has focused renewed attention on the detention centers built to hold immigrants awaiting deportation.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

This relationship started off with reservations.

An undocumented father outside the school where he works as a custodian.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Kim Malcolm talks with Pew Research Center demographer Jeff Passel about new population estimates about undocumented immigrants in the United States. 

You wouldn't expect a 73-year-old to be on the crime beat, but Maximino Rodriguez Palacios couldn't help himself, says Cuauhtemoc Morgan, editor of the Baja California news blog Colectivo Pericu.

"It was totally by chance," he tells NPR. "In November 2014, Max called me about a shooting near his home in La Paz. And then he sent me a story and photos about what happened. From that moment, he was our crime reporter."

Private contractors seeking to get in on the ground floor for construction of President Trump's long promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border had until Tuesday to submit their bids for prototype designs.

At least 200 companies have expressed in interest in the project, but not all were expected to submit bids. Customs and Border Protection called for proposals for the border wall in March.

With security at the U.S.-Mexico border at the center of a seething controversy, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed torn at oral arguments on Tuesday — torn between their sense of justice and legal rules that until now have protected U.S. Border Patrol agents from liability in cross-border shootings.

The cellphone video is vivid. A Border Patrol agent aims his gun at an unarmed 15-year-old some 60 feet away, across the border with Mexico, and shoots him dead.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case testing whether the family of the dead boy can sue the agent for damages in the U.S.

Between 2005 and 2013, there were 42 such cross-border shootings, a dramatic increase over earlier times.

c
Valeria Fernández/PRI

Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos’ deportation to Mexico from Arizona this week was the last chapter of a long nightmare for her family. It began in 2008 with a knock on the door by sheriff’s officers.

The day of that raid was still fresh in the memory of her 16-year-old son, who spoke Wednesday minutes before his mother went inside the Phoenix Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office for an annual check-in with federal authorities.

The sudden deportation Thursday of an Arizona woman who had regularly checked in with U.S. immigration authorities for years has prompted a stark warning from Mexico's government.

Mexican nationals in the U.S. now face a "new reality," authorities warned in a statement.

President Donald Trump signed executive orders to increase immigration enforcement officers, deport individuals living in the country illegally and build a wall along the border with Mexico. All while Northwest farmers say they can’t hire enough people to pick fruit or work in packing houses.

The recent testy back-and-forth between President Donald Trump and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto -- could end in real cash losses for agriculture in the Northwest.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is considering alternative ways to pay for the border wall, backtracking on the president's oft-repeated promise that Mexico would foot the bill.

A White House spokesman said one idea taking shape is to apply a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico, as well as other countries with which the U.S. has a trade deficit. That would effectively saddle U.S. consumers with a significant portion of the wall's cost, estimated at $15 billion or more.

Mexicans have reacted angrily to President Trump's executive order, which among many things directed the U.S. government to begin immediate construction of a border wall.

Mexican lawmakers are urging President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel his scheduled visit to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 31.

Peña Nieto has not said whether he will cancel the meeting.

For decades, U.S. authorities have been preparing to prosecute one of the world's most feared drug traffickers, known as El Chapo.

Friday, the Justice Department announced charges against Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman following his extradition from Mexico to the United States. He landed Thursday evening on Long Island, N.Y., and Friday afternoon entered a plea of not guilty at a federal court in Brooklyn.

Mexico has extradited to the United States its most notorious drug trafficker, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, according to statements from officials of both countries.

A statement by the U.S. Justice Department says Guzman landed Thursday evening at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y. The department also says he faces six separate indictments around the country for crimes "in connection with his leadership of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel."

Ibara-Sandys' take on Mexican nichos, or small shrines, inspired by Dia de los Muertos imagery.
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

Amaranta Ibara-Sandys was 18 years old the first time she traveled to Seattle from Mexico City.

The year was 1992; teenagers from around the world were flocking to the Pacific Northwest, enticed by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and other Seattle bands.

“I loved grunge,” Ibara-Sandys says. “I loved the music!”

Mexican Consulate in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood
Flickr Photo/javacolleen (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dMHR8M

Kim Malcolm talks with Consul of Mexico Roberto Dondisch about his advice for Mexican people living in Washington, following the election of Donald Trump. Dondisch is visiting Mexican communities throughout the state as part of the Consulate on Wheels program.

Immigrants packed a gym in Bellevue on Thursday night to talk about Trump's immigration plan.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Hundreds of immigrants packed a school gym on Thursday night. But not for something normal, like a basketball game.


Brian Wahlberg gives daughter Luciena a good view of the proceedings as the crowd sings at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

In the liberal bastion that is Seattle, the response to the election was acute. People cried openly on buses and in cafes. Some took time off work to mourn in bed. It wasn't that their candidate had lost, we heard again and again, it was that they feared for the future.

Banda Vagas entertains the audience in Seattle's South Park Duwamish River Festival.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Only a whisper of a breeze drifts off the water on this scorching August afternoon, but temperatures in the 90s don’t wilt the South Park crowd.

Older couples, young parents with their children, even gum-cracking teenagers wait patiently in the shade for the main musical attraction of this year’s Duwamish River Festival: Banda Vagos, a Mexican big band that performs a traditional style of music known as banda.

Nestora Salgado, an activist from Renton who was imprisoned in Mexico, spoke with supporters upon arrival at Sea-Tac Airport.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Nestora Salgado — an activist and grandmother from Renton — is back home. Salgado spent more than two years in a Mexican prison on charges that have now been dropped.  A crowd gathered at Sea-Tac Airport to greet her, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

A photo of Nestora Salgado from her website. The caption says it is a photo of her as the leader of the community police.
Courtesy of freenestora.org

Nestora Salgado walked out of a Mexican prison, a free woman Friday. Salgado is from Renton, a mother of three, and a U.S. citizen. But her activism against corruption led to her arrest more than two years ago. 

A photo of Nestora Salgado from her website. The caption says it is a photo of her as the leader of the community police.
Courtesy of freenestora.org

The case of a Renton woman who is jailed in Mexico is getting new attention.

Nestora Salgado was arrested 30 months ago, detained because of her involvement in a community-based police force in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

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