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Nearly 20 years after NAFTA, the first Mexican cargo truck crosses United States borders: 5 things you should know concerning the requirements the Mexican truck drivers will face

26 Oct

Photo Courtesy of : Ricardo Santos / AP

By: Leyla T. Berlanga
Last week, a Mexican cargo truck carrying electronic equipment and destined for Garland, Texas, was the first truck to enter the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA permits Mexican cargo trucks to travel beyond the previous boundary of 6 to 25 miles wide on the U.S. side of the border.
Mexican cargo trucks have crossed into the U.S. in recent years as part of a short-lived pilot program that began in 2007, and which was canceled by the Obama administration in 2009. Mexico retaliated by placing higher tariffs on a wide range of goods, such as dairy items, pork, and even Christmas trees.

Canadian cargo trucks have been granted full access to driving into the United States since the early 1980’s.

5 things you should know concerning the requirements the Mexican truck drivers will face are:
1:  Mexican truck emissions must meet U.S. clean air standards, and Mexican truck companies and drivers must submit to U.S. security checks
2:  Mexican truck drivers must demonstrate competency in English, to show they can read road signs, as well as communicate with police, if necessary
3: Mexican trucks will be required to purchase U.S. liability insurance
4: Electronic monitoring systems will track how many hours the trucks are in service while in the U.S.
5: Drivers must pass drug tests

From an economic point of view, American companies will be affected…whether the impact will be negative or positive is yet to be seen. I think it’s safe to say that Mexican trucking companies will face a number of competitive disadvantages when carrying international cargo into the interior of the United States.  I do think this is a step in the right direction as far as Mexico and U.S. relations are concerned; but do you think this is all coming to pass at the right time for both countries?

Obama utilizá escándalo de su nacimiento para anunciar su campaña de reelección.

23 May

By Dori Marquez    @Matt.org

“Made in the USA” es el texto estampado que pusieron los encargados de la campaña en camisetas y  en tazas aparte agregaron el certificado de nacimiento del presidente a cambio de una donación de 30 dólares.

Todo esto surgió cuando algunos republicanos mencionaron la posibilidad que Obama hubiera nacido en Kenia, lugar de nacimiento de su padre, en vez de Hawaii.

 Despúes de varios rumores el presidente Obama ignoró las acusaciones hasta que el magnate inmobiliario Donald Trump convirtió el asunto en eje de su campaña para decidir si desafiaba al presidente en 2012. La constitución de ese país requiere que el presidente de EE.UU haya nacido en el país.

Gran cantidad de estadounidenses expresó dudas sobre el lugar de nacimiento de Obama , el presidente dio a conocer el mes pasado una versión de su certificado de nacimiento , en el cual donde confirma que nación en el Hospital de Honolulu en 1961.

El asunto terminó  y ya todo quedo aclarado tiempo después, Trump anunció esta semana que no competiría por la nominación republicana para 2012.

Julianna Smoot subdirectora de la campaña de Obama: “Si los hechos no pueden acabar con esta ridícula difamación, podemos al menos divertirnos un poco con ellos”, confirmó  en un correo electrónico a sus partidarios.

Foto: Cortesía de barackobama.com

MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Immigrant Success Story: Ana Hernandez Luna, Texas Representative

16 May

by Regina Cantu @ Matt.org

According to the Texas Observer, Texas State Representative Ana Hernandez Luna gave “one of the most poignant personal privilege speeches in the history of the Texas House.” Hernandez Luna (D-Houston) told the chamber that she had grown up undocumented in Texas. The amnesty granted by President Ronald Reagan in the 80s had allowed her family to come out of the shadows, she said.”

According to her Texas House of Representatives biography,State Representative Ana Hernandez Luna was elected in December, 2005 to represent District 143 in the Texas House of Representatives. District 143 covers part of Houston including areas of Magnolia Park, Manchester, Port Houston, Cimarron and Denver Harbor, the cities of Galena Park and Jacinto City, and portions of Pasadena and Channelview. She serves as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Elections and serves on the House Committee of Pensions, Investments and Financial Services. Born in Reynosa, Mexico and raised in Pasadena, Texas, Ana comes from a very close-knit and hard working family, and is the younger of two daughters. She is married to Greg Luna, who is a practicing attorney.

Ana graduated from Sam Rayburn High School in Pasadena, and received her Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Houston. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Ana attended the University of Texas School of Law. She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence in May of 2004.

In addition to representing District 143 in the Texas House of Representatives, she also practices law at Carrigan, McCloskey & Roberson, L.L.P. She is a member of various professional, civic and charitable organizations including the State Bar of Texas, a member of the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, and she serves on the Board of Regents for the Texas Chiropractic College and Precinct2gether.

Hernandez Luna says she wants to put a face on the oft-maligned topic of immigration.

I am able to understand what a lot of these immigrants are going through because my family went through it,” she said in an interview with the American Statesman.

President Obama Primes Senate Floor Re-introduction of DREAM Act

13 May

by Regina Cantu @ Matt.org

No sooner did President Obama finish his speech in Texas on Tuesday, announcing his backing of a complete immigration overhaul, did Democrats Sen. Richard Durbin reintroduced the following day the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, and Majority Whip Richard Durbin and 30 others of their colleagues have signed on to support the bill, which failed in Congress last year.

The Dream Act would grant legal status to undocumented immigrants who entered the United States prior to their 16th birthday provided they attend college or serve in the military, and meet various other conditions. According to the Immigration Policy Center, about 65,000 undocumented students brought to the U.S. by their parents as very young children, graduate from high school each year and face a bleak future because of their status.

A study released last year by the Migration Policy Instituteindicates that the DREAM Act could benefit up to 2.1 million undocumented youth, even though only about 825,000 would gain permanent legal status.

Unfortunately, Republicans are largely against the Dream Act. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said he sympathizes with these children. [However,] “[t]he DREAM Act doesn’t solve our illegally immigration problem, it exacerbates it. Amnesty will encourage millions more parents to bring their children to the U.S. illegally.

Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition welcomed the move, but pointed out that the bill faces a slim chance in the current Congress and said the President should use the authority of his office to protect young undocumented immigrants.

In the meantime, given the legislative reality, we call on the President to use his executive authority to grant deferred action to young people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act—which would allow these young people to come out of the shadows to live and work without the threat of deportation until Congress passes the DREAM Act.”

The Immigration Policy Center released a statement with a similar message.

“If Congress fails to act, the Administration can and should take more decisive steps to ensure that the values driving their legislative agenda are reflected in their implementation and interpretation of current law. DHS should ensure that its officers use their prosecutorial discretion to defer the removal of any eligible student caught up in the broken immigration system.”

In his immigration speech on Tuesday in El Paso, even though he called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act, President Obama explicitly said he would not use his executive powers to stop deportations. He denounced the current situation which he terms “cruel” and said “makes no sense.” As President Obama put it:

“So we’re going to keep fighting for the DREAM Act. We’re going to keep up the fight for reform. And that’s where you come in. I’m going to do my part to lead a constructive and civil debate on these issues…We’ve got leaders here and around the country helping to move the debate forward. But this change ultimately has to be driven by you, the American people. You’ve got to help push for comprehensive reform, and you’ve got to identify what steps we can take right now, like the DREAM Act, like visa reform, areas where we can find common ground among Democrats and Republicans and begin to fix what’s broken.a comprehensive plan for modify the immigration laws and to strengthen border security.”

It’s been 10 years since the bill was first introduced by Sen. Durbin. Last fall, despite President Obama’s strong support, the DREAM Act passed the House but failed to attract the 60 votes needed to end a Senate filibuster.

Texas House Passes H. B. 12, Anti-Immigrant Legislation

11 May

by Regina Cantu @ Matt.org

Yesterday the House passed HB 12, co-authored by Rep. Linda Harper Brown (R-Irving), which ensures that law enforcement officers are not prohibited from upholding the immigration laws of our state and nation.

Specifically, House Bill 12 includes language that an entity, “may not adopt a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity prohibits the enforcement of the laws of this state or federal law relating to immigrants or immigration, including the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.” This means entities must allow officers to inquire into the immigration status of a person arrested or detained for the investigation of a criminal offense and allow information to be exchanged withanother federal, state, or local governmental entity, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

As an elected officeholder, it is my responsibility to abide by the oath of office to, ’preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state.’ Prohibiting law enforcement officials to ask the immigration status of individuals has hindered the ability of officers to defend the laws of this state. I am honored to be a co-author of this responsible legislation that gives local authorities the tools needed to keep Texas families and communities safer,” Brown said.

Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas) disagrees. He started out telling Texas Insider, “The vote on HB 12 today shows clearly the Arizona-style tactics some of our lawmakers are promising to use to turn Texas into another Arizona. Not only is the measure outright Draconian, ridiculous and outrageous, it simply sends the wrong message to all Texans specifically and Americans and businesses at large from all corners of the country that we are a very insensitive state to live in, raise and educate our children and grandchildren, and do business in.

He went on to say, “I am not surprised once again that some of my colleagues continue to stoop this low and take aim at immigration reform issues that I firmly believe can be better addressed if left at the hands of our federal government to take care of and pursue through more effective comprehensive immigration reforms.

Alonzo also said, “Many local law enforcement agencies are already short-staffed, low in adequate financial resources and human manpower, and simply cut too thinly to effectively do their primary jobs, which is to provide safer neighborhoods and patrol our communities. Most importantly, at a time when we are faced with the budget crisis that we are currently in, I do not understand why lawmakers cannot get their priorities straight and deal with the important issues at hand rather than meddling with federal issues we have no businesses getting involved with at all.”

The bill will now be sent to the Texas Senate for approval.