Baja smugglers’ use of boats rising rapidly (San Diego Union Tribune)

“…The deaths of two immigrants after an overcrowded smuggling vessel capsized off Torrey Pines State Beach on Jan. 16 highlighted the area’s status as a maritime corridor for the illicit traffic of people and drugs. The two victims, a man from Mexico and a woman from Guatemala, are the first known maritime smuggling fatalities in San Diego County.

‘It was totally predictable,’ said Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California San Diego. ‘People always underestimate the determination of the migrants themselves, and the creativity of the professional people smugglers.’”

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Obama’s choices during first year in office resonate in San Diego (San Diego News Network)


“John Skrentny, director of UC San Diego’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, noted that if there’s one thing that has happened with immigration reform, it may be a lack of momentum.

‘I would say that the Obama administration has lost a lot of its momentum while trying to repair the economy and get through with the agenda on health care,’ Skrentny said. ‘The progress Obama has made on immigration will be harder to follow through because of the lost momentum.’”

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Wayne Cornelius Featured on 60 Minutes

CCIS Emeritus Director Wayne Cornelius was featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes program recently, talking about the virtual fence being built on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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“It’s a great deal for Boeing and its subcontractors. It’s a bad deal for the taxpayers,” Wayne Cornelius, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, told Kroft.

There are some, like Cornelius, who think the virtual fence provides only the illusion of border security. He has studied and written about the border for years and says the only thing that has ever stopped people from illegally entering the United States from Mexico was the Great Depression.

“They will detour around the electronic fence just as they have detoured around sections of the physical fences that have been built since 1993. They would be crazy not to,” Cornelius said.

He says smugglers are already probing the system for weaknesses, and will eventually figure out ways to sabotage or blind the electronic towers.

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Video of the entire 60 Minutes segment:


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Web-only video of Cornelius talking about the virtual fence:


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Detentions at Border Are Down (New York Times)

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“… Some researchers have cautioned that border enforcement would not prevent Latino immigrants from returning if the economy picked up. Based on the pattern of past recessions, ‘full economic recovery is likely to bring a quick rebound in northbound migration,’ said Wayne Cornelius, who recently retired as director of an immigration research center at the University of California San Diego …”

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University Launches Global Health Program (UCSD Guardian)

ucsd-guardian-logo“In an effort to address some of the health ramifications of California’s large immigrant population, the University of California launched the Center of Expertise on Migration and Health on Nov. 9 — part of its new Global Health Institute.

The COEMH, to be located at UCSD, was created to examine the impact that large population movements have on both the destination country and the migrating population’s country of origin. The program will pay particular attention to consequences that changes in federal health-care policy have on California’s refugee and immigrant population … ”

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Border Crosser Deaths Rising, Despite Reduction In Illegal Immigration (KPBS)

kpbs_logo2_2Speaking on the KPBS program These Days, KPBS reporter cited research from the Mexican Migration Field Research program: “… Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and people cross the border even who know that – Wayne Cornelius from UCSD did a study recently and he was down in the Yucatan talking to migrants who wanted to – who were thinking about crossing and about more than 40% of them knew someone who had died crossing the border and the grand majority of them said we know it’s difficult and we know that it’s hard to get around the Border Patrol but, they said, regardless of that, they’re going to do it.”

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Report shows as many as 5,600 illegal immigrants have died along border (North County Times)

escondido-north-county-times-logo-175“…Immigrant rights groups say Operation Gatekeeper and similar enforcement efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border are responsible for the deaths because they were designed to push illegal immigrant traffic into the mountains and deserts.

The strategy was to use the dangerous terrain as a deterrent.

It did not work, according to Wayne Cornelius, former director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego.

Illegal immigrant traffic simply shifted to states such as Arizona and Texas…”

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US-Mexico Border Deaths are a Humanitarian Crisis (ACLU & CNDH)

“…U.S., Mexican and international officials must recognize the deaths of migrants occurring during unauthorized crossings of the U.S.-Mexican border as an international humanitarian crisis and respond with reforms that make human life a priority, according to a new report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties and Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH). The report, Humanitarian Crisis: Migrant Deaths at the U.S.-Mexico Border, finds that border deaths have increased despite fewer unauthorized crossings due to the economic downturn…”

Download the full ACLU & CNDH Humanitarian Crisis Report»

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Border-death numbers remain steady (SD Union Tribune)

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“…There are different reasons why border-crossing arrests are down, said  Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration  Studies at UCSD.

Those who can afford it are also paying as much as $5,000 to be smuggled through border ports of entry, he said, seen as a safer alternative to treks through increasingly remote routes in the desert and mountains.

The depressed U.S. job market is a key factor, and even border security appears to have an economic factor. Tighter security has led to steeper smugglers’ fees, Cornelius said, often $3,000 just to cross on foot…”

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