El Paso family lives binational life thanks to SENTRI program

Luis is among the thousands of people who cross the Juarez-El Paso border each day. His wife, Gabriela, often greets him at the door of their West Side El Paso home when he returns in the evening to ask “How was your day?” The Rio Grande river and border checkpoints separating Mexico and the United States are not considered obstacles for many locals who have business on both sides, and Luis and Gabriela’s family is no exception. Luis – who asked that only first names be used in this story – lives in El Paso, but works in sales in Juarez. His family is among the nearly 50,000 people enrolled in the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program that allows them to bypass long lines and cross the international checkpoint more quickly.

Books and backpacks less easy to carry across the border now than before:  Mexican students who attend U.S. schools face a new reality in the anti-immigrant age of Trump

EL PASO – Hundreds of students cross the border from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso daily,  carrying heavy backpacks and books and dreams of a better life.  Heightened  anti immigrant  rhetoric across the country and various immigration enforcement executive orders from President Donald Trump have added more stress and uncertainty to their daily lives. Over 1,000 Mexican students attend the the University of Texas at El Paso and about  half commute to campus from their homes in Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, according to a previously published story. The commute is a hardship for many because of the long and complicated commute from their home in Juarez,  a walk  or a car ride across an international border bridge to have their documents checked, followed by a bus ride  to the UTEP campus some five to 10 minutes from downtown El Paso,

Related: In 2016, commuting daily from Mexico to attend school in the U.S. was no big deal for students who budgeted their time well

Most must wake up before dawn to make it to an early morning class, and often don’t return home to Juarez until well past the dinner hour.  Depending on the amount of foot or car traffic on the international bridge, the crossing time can vary from 20 minutes to two hours.

International students see benefits to studying at UT El Paso

The number of international students in the United States rises as more students choose the U.S. as the place they want to broaden their experience and continue their education. Nearly 900,000 international students come every year, the United States is now the most popular country for international students, according to The Wall Street Journal. While there are a variety of reasons for why students come to the United States, students cited five primary reasons for coming to the United States to study:

Academic Excellence
Variety of Educational Opportunities
Support Services for International Students
Campus Life Experience

The United States has one of the world’s finest university systems, with outstanding programs in all fields, according to the Migration Policy Institute. At the undergraduate level, there are excellent programs that exist in traditional disciplines, students also have the opportunity to work directly with some of the finest minds in their field of study, with the chance to become involved with exclusive research and educational opportunities. U.S. degrees are recognized throughout the world for their excellence.

Violence, beauty of Mexico influencing emerging border artists

EL PASO – As a child at the beginning of the new millennium, Ana Carolina’s city was notorious as a place where hundreds of women went missing. Now a student at UT El Paso, the theme of empowering women is at the core of many of Carolina’s works. For Carolina and other young artists from Ciudad Juarez, art has become a way to process and escape from the ugly reality of the drug wars and other violence that surrounded them growing up. “The disappearance of so many young women is something that really characterized Ciudad Juarez, so I think that really influenced my art a lot,” Carolina said. “I draw women and something that represents them is that they are all facing forward and looking straight at you. My women are strong; we are not just a symbol of sexuality or sensuality in the arts.” 

 Carolina also uses her art to express the cultural beauty that characterizes this region where Mexico and Texas connect.

Periodista de la televisión Cubana comparte consejos y experiencias en su primera visita a la frontera

Después de un viaje de más de 1500 millas, la periodista de la television cubana Rafaela del Carmen Balanza Recasén, llegó por primera vez a suelo Americano a compartir con los estudiantes de la Universidad de Texas en El Paso su trayectoria personal y profesional. Balanza Recasén tiene 35 años ejerciendo como licenciada en periodismo y dirigió por 20 años en la televisión cubana, trabajado como reportera, guionista, productora y directora a través de su carrera. El propósito de su visita a los Estados Unidos de América fue no solo compartir experiencias con futuros periodistas y estudiantes de ciencia de la comunicación de UTEP, sino también para presentar en la Conferencia del Mes de la Mujer su ponencia, “Mujer y Medios de Comunicación en Cuba.” Fue invitada por el Programa de Estudios por la Mujer de UTEP, y tras pasarse una semana en la frontera, fue a visitar amistades en Houston y Miami. “El periodismo ha sido mi vida, le he dedicado muchos años de mi vida. Me considero una mujer realizada ya que profesionalmente he logrado todo lo que me propuse”, expresó Balanza Recasén.

Rumores acerca de la forma de inmigración I-407 asustan a los inmigrantes legales

Un rumor en las redes sociales que algunos agentes de inmigración están exigiendo que residentes con estatus legal estadounidense firmen una forma abandonando sus derechos de vivir en Estados Unidos ha causado miedo en la comunidad inmigrante, según abogados y oficiales de organizaciones de trabajan con inmigrantes. “Están saliendo comentarios de que los oficiales de inmigración estan forzando a los residentes que firmen este formulario y que abandonen su residencia”, explicó la abogada de inmigración Iliana Holguin. Holguin dijo que los rumores no tienen veracidad. Melanie Luna, quien nació en Mexico y reside legalmente en Estados Unidos por muchos años, también está consiente de los rumores. “Sí he escuchado sobre esa forma, este es un rumor que se ha escuchado solamente por medio del internet”.

Commuting daily from Mexico to attend school in the U.S. no big deal for students who budget their time well

Mariana Sierra taps the steering wheel and stares at the line of cars ahead of her Dodge Nitro on the Paso Del Norte International Bridge as she waits for her turn to cross into El Paso from Juárez, Mexico. She’s been in the express lane for 30 minutes. Sierra’s favorite musicians, the Mexican Girl group Ha-Ash plays on the radio. With one hand on her mascara and the other on the steering wheel, Sierra slowly inches her car forward as the line moves. She estimates it will take at least another ten minutes before she reaches the point of entry, hand her U.S. Passport to the border patrol officer, and recite the same daily response.

Brief reunion of families at border fence makes a point: walls divide, hugs unite

Maria De Jesus leans against the metal fence that blocks the Rio Grande, a river that for centuries has marked the division between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. A native of Durango, Mexico, Maria, 82, has traveled more than 600 miles by bus for the chance to see her only son and 15-year-old granddaughter. She saw them last 12 years ago when they emigrated from Durango to El Paso. “I didn’t know my granddaughter; I hadn’t seen her since she was 3 years old, and it’s not the same watching them grow in pictures,” De Jesus said in Spanish. On a recent sunny October day, De Jesus was among the 300 families, or more than 1000 people, waiting in line on the Juarez side of the river for a chance to spend three minutes with their loved ones on the U.S. side.

Ciudad Juárez: ¿una caída del crimen o un simple espejismo?

Por Damià S. Bonmatí, Univision Noticias

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, México. Hay tantas cosas que a Olga Esparza le recuerdan a su hija Mónica. Las jovencitas que viajan en el autobús, las que andan deprisa por la calle, las que llevan hijos pequeños de la mano. Mónica Janeth Alanís desapareció en marzo de 2009, cuando salía de sus clases de Administración de Empresa en la universidad, y sus restos fueron hallados en 2012, en las afueras de Ciudad Juárez. Tenía 18 años.

A newly arrived Cuban migrant fills out paperwork in El Paso.

El Paso social services respond to Cuban refugee surge

Cuban refugees continue to seek asylum in the U.S., traveling from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso for a third straight week, with many staying in El Paso longer than expected, which could strain local organizations that traditionally provide services such as food, shelter and legal advice to immigrants. Elizabeth O’Hara, communications director of Catholic Diocese of El Paso, said about 300 Cuban migrants have been arriving each day since May 9 for a total of about 3,000 in the last three weeks. “Some of them will stay 24-36 hours, but now we’re seeing some of them staying longer,” O’Hara said, adding that the first wave of refugees seemed to be better off financially. “Most of the first ones to arrive had money left so they could bounce out of El Paso faster.”

That seems to be the case as well at the Ysleta Lutheran Mission, which is housing up to 80 refugees at a time. Karla Gonzalez, Ysleta’s chief operating officer, said most immigrants will just pass through El Paso on the way to family or friends in other parts of the country.