New York, the Americas, and Immigration — Here and Abroad
Napolitano returns from Scandinavia and brings international security home: Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano met with Southwest Border Officials at the White House to discuss border security, following a trip to Scandinavia, where Napolitano discussed international security and counter-terrorism with European officials. On her visit to Oslo, Norway on Nov. 14, she met with Norwegian Minister of Justice and Emergency Preparedness Grete Faremo and members of the American Chamber of Commerce to discuss transnational crime and cybersecurity. She went on to Stockholm, Sweden the following day to meet with Sweden’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Frank Belfrage and hosted an event at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs to promote the Cyber Atlantic 2011 Tabletop Exercise, a joint EU-US initiative to strengthen Internet security.
"Today, the very nature of travel, trade, and commerce means that one vulnerability or gap anywhere across the globe has the ability to impact security thousands of miles away. And that means our security must be a shared responsibility – among governments, the private sector, and individuals and communities," said Secretary Napolitano. "I look forward to continued collaboration with Sweden to address the common threats that impact citizens in both our countries."
The whirlwind international security tour ended up in Washington, D.C., where Napolitano met with officials, police chiefs, and Calexico, California Mayor Luis J. Castro to discuss border patrol, bringing the topic of security home. The economic development of northern Mexican towns, strengthening of cooperation between federal agents and police, and spending $167 million on Operation Stonegarten, a FEMA-run border security program, were some issues under debate at the conference.
Department of Homeland Security will begin reviewing deportation cases: The Department of Homeland Security will begin sifting through the backlog of criminal cases involving deportation on Thursday. Republicans, including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, call it a “backdoor amnesty” for illegal immigrants, amounting to 300,00 cases. Already, 400,000 people have been deported this year, according to the DHS. Cases for children and Dream Act students will be considered for postponement or stays of removals. Only those already convicted of fraud or illegal entry into the country, or have other pending criminal cases, would be targeted, according to the June 17 prosecutorial discretion memo. Document reports from the American Immigration Lawyers association published this month reveal dissention among the ranks of ICE. The AILA report says union officials have told rank-and-file to ignore the memo in favor of blanket enforcement. Although ICE doesn’t have the power to enforce criminal law, the push is moving toward meshing immigration enforcement with police enforcement. This could lead to new implications for immigrants in the United States. Multi-American published criteria for considering a stay of deportation versus carrying out a deportation order.
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Mexican Banker Seeks to Expand Banking with Immigrants in US: Ricardo Salinas Pliego, Mexican businessman, hosted a presentation at the Hispanic Society of America Museum called The Criollo in the Mirror: Celebration and Identity, 1521-182. Salinas offers this Latin American perspective while seeking inroads into banking in the United States. Chairman of Grupo Salinas, Salinas is a seeking inroads into banking. Grupo Salinas seeks to launch its next project: offering high-interest, small loans to the “unbanked,” including low-income Mexican immigrants. According to Factiva, the subsidiary is called Grupo Elektra SA, which reported $7,505,568 in 2008. Stock prices have hit an all-time high of 1,354 MXN, or approximately $100 per share in November.
Mexican immigrants alone made up 12.7 million in the U.S. in 2008 according to the Pew Research Institute. More than half are undocumented, and could therefore not obtain a bank account in the U.S.
Grupo Salinas has used average loan sizes of $400 each to build his empire. But the interest rates are staggering. Salinas said that Banco Azteca charges enough interest that some customers end up paying back double.