Migrants streaming into Tijuana, but now face long stay
By ELLIOT SPAGAT
Friday, November 16
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — About 2,000 Central American migrants had already reached the Mexican border city of Tijuana and another 1,200 from a second caravan set out from Mexico City toward the border Friday.
With shelters already full, authorities in Tijuana opened a gymnasium and gated sport complex for up to 1,000 migrants, with a potential to expand to 3,000.
But at least that many migrants were still on the road or trickling into the city aboard buses, and a third caravan was still waiting in Mexico City. Tijuana faced a potential influx of as many as 10,000 in all. The city’s privately run shelters are meant to have a capacity of 700.
With U.S. border inspectors processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at the main border crossing with San Diego, prospects grew that migrants would be stuck waiting in Tijuana for months. Concerns continued about what the Central Americans will do, or how they will support themselves in the meantime.
On Thursday, migrants napped on mattresses at the gymnasium in Tijuana while men played soccer and exchanged banter on a crowded, adjoining courtyard. A woman dabbed her crying, naked toddler with a moist cloth.
Francisco Rueda, the top deputy to Baja California state Gov. Francisco Vega de la Madrid, said “This is not a crisis,” but agreed that “this is an extraordinary situation.”
Rueda said the state has 7,000 jobs available for its “Central American migrant brothers” who obtain legal residence status in Mexico.
“Today in Baja California there is an employment opportunity for those who request it, but it order for this to happen, it has to regulate migrant status,” he said.
The thriving factories in the city of 1.6 million are always looking for workers, and several thousand Haitian migrants who were turned away at the U.S. border have found jobs and settled in Tijuana the last two years.
Police made their presence known in a city that is suffering an all-time-high homicide rate. A group of about 50 migrants, mostly women and children, walked through downtown streets Thursday from the city shelter to a breakfast hall under police escort.
As buses from western and central Mexico trickled in, some families camped inside the bus terminal and waited for word on where they could find a safe place to sleep.
Oscar Zapata, 31, reached the Tijuana bus station at 2 a.m. Thursday from Guadalajara with his wife and their three children, ages 4, 5 and 12, and headed to the breakfast hall, where migrants were served free beef and potatoes.
Back home in La Ceiba, Honduras, he sold pirated CDs and DVDs in the street and two gangs demanding “protection” money threatened to kidnap his daughter and force her into prostitution if he didn’t pay. When he heard about the caravan on the TV news last month, he didn’t think twice.
“It was the opportunity to get out,” Zapata said.
Zapata said he hopes to join a brother in Los Angeles but has not yet decided on his next move. Like many others, he plans to wait in Tijuana for others in the caravan to arrive and gather more information before seeking asylum in the United States.
Byron Jose Blandino, a 27-year-old bricklayer from Nicaragua who slept in the converted gymnasium, said he wanted to request asylum but not until he could speak with someone well-versed in U.S. law and asylum procedures.
“The first thing is to wait,” Blandino said. “I do not want to break the laws of any country. If I could enter in a peaceful manner, that would be good.
To claim asylum in San Diego, migrants enter their names in a tattered notebook held together by duct tape and managed by the migrants in a plaza outside the entry to the main border crossing. On Thursday, migrants who registered six weeks ago were getting their names called. The waiting list has grown to more than 3,000 names and stands to become much longer with the new arrivals.
Dozens of gay and transgender migrants in the caravan were already lining up Thursday to submit asylum claims, though it was unclear how soon they would be able to do so.
Rueda, the governor’s deputy, said that if all migrants from the caravan currently in Tijuana were to register to seek asylum in the U.S., they would likely have to wait four months at current processing rates. For that reason, the state has asked Mexican federal authorities to encourage people in other caravans to go to other border cities.
The caravan has fragmented somewhat in recent days in a final push to the border, with some migrants moving rapidly in buses and others falling behind.
On Thursday, hundreds were stranded for most of the day at a gas station in Navojoa, some 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) from Tijuana.
“We were dropped here at midnight … in the middle of nowhere, where supposedly some buses were going to come pick us up, but nothing,” Alejandra Grisel Rodriguez of Honduras told The Associated Press by phone. “We are without water, without food.”
After about 12 hours, seven buses began arriving to collect the migrants, Rodriguez said, but they quickly filled up.
“We would need at least 40 or 50,” she said.
Associated Press writer Maria Verza in Culiacan, Mexico, contributed to this report.
Dozens of migrants disappear in Mexico as Central American caravan pushes northward
November 15, 2018
Luis Gómez Romero
Senior Lecturer in Human Rights, Constitutional Law and Legal Theory, University of Wollongong
Luis Gómez Romero does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
University of Wollongong provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.
The Hondurans who banded together last month to travel northward to the United States, fleeing gangs, corruption and poverty, were joined by other Central Americans hoping to find safety in numbers on this perilous journey.
But group travel couldn’t save everyone.
Earlier this month, two trucks from the caravan disappeared in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. One person who escaped told officials that about “65 children and seven women were sold” by the driver to a group of armed men.
Mexican authorities are searching for the migrants, but history shows that people missing for more than 24 hours are rarely found in Mexico – alive or at all.
Mexico’s ambiguous welcome
An average of 12 people disappear each day in Mexico. Most are victims of a raging three-way war among the Mexican armed forces, organized crime and drug cartels.
The military crackdown on criminal activity has actually escalated violence in Mexico since operations began in 2006, my research and other security studies show.
Nearly 22,000 people were murdered in Mexico in the first eight months of this year, a dismal record in one of the world’s deadliest places.
Central Americans fleeing similarly rampant violence back home confront those risks and others on their journey to the United States. Doctors Without Borders found that over two-thirds of migrants surveyed in Mexico in 2014 experienced violence en route. One-third of women had been sexually abused.
Mexico’s security crisis may explain why so few caravan members want to stay there.
In response to President Donald Trump’s demands that Mexico “stop this onslaught,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that migrants who applied for asylum at Mexico’s southern border would be given shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs.
About 1,700 of the estimated 5,000 caravan members took him up on the offer.
Meanwhile, everyday Mexicans are greeting the migrants as they pass through their towns, donating food, clothing, lodging and transport.
A recent poll shows that 51 percent of Mexicans support the caravan. Thirty-three percent of respondents, many of them affluent members of Mexico’s urban middle class, want the migrants to go back to Central America.
Mexican law, which allows eligible asylum seekers to both request and be granted asylum, exceeds international standards on the rights of migrants.
But reality in Mexico often falls short of the law.
The Mexican Refugee Assistance Commission is supposed to process asylum applications in 45 days. But its offices in Mexico City were damaged by last year’s earthquake, forcing the already overstretched and underfunded agency to suspend processing of open asylum claims for months.
Meanwhile, new applications for asylum in Mexico continued to pour in – a record 14,596 were filed last year. The processing backlog is now two years.
During that period of legal limbo, asylum seekers cannot work, attend school or fully access Mexico’s public health system. President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, says he will offer Central American migrants temporary working visas while their claims are processed.
Anti-caravan posts on social media accuse migrants of taking Mexican jobs and violating Mexico’s sovereignty, using nativist language similar to that seen in the United States.
Mexico City, which in 2017 declared itself to be a sanctuary city, nonetheless put thousands of caravan members up in a stadium staffed by medical teams and humanitarian groups.
Militarizing the US-Mexico border
The first Central Americans from the caravan are now arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, where they face a far less warm reception.
Calling the caravan an “invasion,” President Trump has ordered the deployment of over 5,000 troops to the border.
U.S. law prohibits the use of the armed forces to enforce domestic laws without specific congressional authorization. That means the troops can only support border agents in deterring migrants.
But Trump’s decision still has symbolic power. This is the first time in over a century that military troops have been summoned to defend the U.S.-Mexico border.
The last deployment occurred during the Mexican Revolution.
On March 9, 1916, a small band of revolutionaries led by Francisco “Pancho” Villa invaded Columbus, New Mexico.
After Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico, President Woodrow Wilson sent troops to the border – and into Mexican territory. United States Air Force
Officially, the group assaulted the border city in retaliation for then-President Woodrow Wilson’s support of Venustiano Carranza, Villa’s political rival. Villa also had a personal vendetta against Sam Ravel, a local man who had swindled money from him.
President Wilson responded by summoning General John J. Pershing, who assembled a force of 6,000 U.S. troops to chase Villa deep inside Mexico’s northern territory. Pershing’s “punitive expedition” returned in early 1917 after failing to capture the revolutionary leader.
No relief at the border
Central Americans who reach the militarized United States border can still apply for asylum there, despite President Trump’s recent executive order limiting where they may do so. But they face stiff odds.
After an evaluation process that can take months or years, the majority of Central American asylum claims filed in the United States – 75 percent – are denied. Caravan members rejected will be sent back to the same perilous place they fled last month.
With 60 percent of its population living in poverty, Honduras is the poorest country in Latin America. It also has the world’s second-highest homicide rate – 43.6 murders per 100,000 people – trailing only El Salvador.
The U.S. contributed to the instability that created these hardships.
Honduras has been in turmoil since 2009, when the military overthrew leftist President Manuel Zelaya. Rather than join the United Nations and European Union in demanding Zelaya’s reinstatement, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for new elections, effectively endorsing a coup.
The country entered a prolonged political crisis. Honduras’s November 2017 presidential election was contested, with the U.S.-backed President Juan Orlando Hernández accused of rigging the vote. Seventeen opposition protesters were killed in the unrest that followed.
The Central American caravan that started in Honduras seeks in the U.S. a life free of such violence. Its steady progress toward the border shows that even kidnappings, Trump’s threats and soldiers cannot deter them.
Bob Rogers: “U.S. law prohibits the use of the armed forces to enforce domestic laws without specific congressional authorization.”
That’s not accurate. The Defense Authorization Act for 2008 allows the President to use the military when there is a conspiracy to thwart the law and local law enforcement cannot cope with the situation. A conspiracy means simply two or more people acting together to break the law, which the migrants have claimed they intend to do from the start.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many of the units being mobilized to the border are military police units.
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS LIVE ON STAGE at the Palace December 16
“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz, has warmed the hearts of millions of fans since it first aired on television more than 50 years ago. Now the classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation featuring all your favorite characters and classic Vince Guaraldi score. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they mount a play, save a tree, and uncover the true meaning of Christmas.
CAPA presents A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage at the Palace Theatre (34 W. Broad St.) on Sunday, December 16, at 2 pm and 5 pm. Tickets are $35-$50 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage is a fresh take on the timeless classic that gives the audience a completely new way of experiencing the storyline as portrayed by real actors who maintain the integrity and spirit of each Peanuts character.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage encompasses each of your favorite scenes from the original animated television show. It even expands the storyline into greater detail with more fun, more music, more finding the true Christmas spirit. This Peanuts experience also includes an intermission and, after the final bow, the show crescendos into a celebration of song as the audience is invited to join the Peanuts gang in singing Christmas favorites.
CAPA presents A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS LIVE ON STAGE
Sunday, December 16, 2 pm & 5 pm
Palace Theatre (34 W. Broad St.)
The classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation featuring all your favorite characters and classic Vince Guaraldi score. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they mount a play, save a tree, and uncover the true meaning of Christmas. Tickets are $35-$50 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. www.capa.com
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. CAPA also appreciates the generous support of the Barbara B. Coons and Robert Bartels Funds of The Columbus Foundation and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
Owner/operator of downtown Columbus’ magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex, Lincoln Theatre, Drexel Theatre, Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (New Albany, OH), and the Shubert Theater (New Haven, CT), CAPA is a non-profit, award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment. For more information, visit www.capa.com.
Secretary Husted Releases New Business Filings Figures for October 2018
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Four out of five companies are now started online using Ohio Business Central
COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced 10,876 new entities filed to do business in Ohio last month, an increase of 1,626 when compared to October 2017.
Ohio is on track for 2018 to be another record-breaking year for new business filings. Since January, the Buckeye State has seen 107,375 new businesses file, up 7,386 from the same ten-month period last year.
Ohio finished 2017 with 117,429 new businesses registering with the Secretary of State’s office, surpassing the previous record of 105,009 that was set in 2016. Last year also marked the eighth consecutive year the state has seen a record number of new business filings. In all, Ohio has seen a rise of 46.3 percent in filings from 2010 to 2017.
From the time Ohio Business Central was launched until the end of September 2018, the Secretary of State’s Office has processed 468,410 online filings. Today 80 percent of all new businesses are started online through Ohio Business Central, which launched in 2013. In August 2017, Secretary Husted announced that 100 percent of all filings needed to start or maintain a business in Ohio may now be submitted online.
October 2018 marked 36 months since Secretary Husted reduced the cost of starting and maintaining a business in the Buckeye State by 21 percent. This change has saved Ohio businesses over $8 million to date.
Secretary Husted’s efforts to cut costs don’t stop there. In fact, he requested a 100 percent cut in the amount of tax dollars needed to run his office, which was approved as part of the state’s budget. Husted’s request is saving taxpayers nearly $5 million over fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Secretary Husted was able to do this because of his wise financial stewardship. During his first term, he reduced spending by $14.5 million, a 16 percent reduction when compared to the previous administration. Secretary Husted is also operating his office with roughly 42 percent fewer staff and payroll costs at the Secretary of State’s Office are at the lowest level in 11 years.
Though the most visible role of the Secretary of State is that of chief elections officer, the office is also the first stop for individuals or companies who want to file and start a business in Ohio. While recognizing these numbers can’t provide a complete picture of Ohio’s jobs climate, they are an important indicator of economic activity that Secretary Husted hopes will add to the ongoing discussion of how to improve the state’s overall climate for business.
NOTE: New business filings are classified as forms filed with the Ohio Secretary of State that declare the formation of a business entity, including for-profit, non-profit and professional corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. Filing as a business in Ohio does not guarantee the company will begin operations, be profitable or create jobs.
• 10,876 new entities filed to do business in Ohio throughout October 2018.
• Since Ohio Business Central was launched, 468,410 entities have been formed online through October 2018.
• Four out of every five businesses are now started online in Ohio.
• Since Secretary Husted reduced the cost of starting and maintaining a business in Ohio businesses have saved over $8 million.
• Cut spending by more than $14.5 million during his first term – a 16 percent reduction compared to the previous administration.
• Reduced staff by 42 percent and decreased payroll costs to the lowest level in 11 years.
• Cut tax dollars needed to run his office for his last two years by 100 percent, saving taxpayers nearly $5 million.
• Announced in August of 2017 that 100 percent of all filings needed to start or maintain a business in Ohio may now be submitted online.
2018 Community School Sponsor Evaluations Released
To help ensure accountability and quality in Ohio’s community school system, the Ohio Department of Education today released the 2017-2018 sponsor evaluations.
“High-quality sponsors are the foundation for an effective community school system,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “The sponsor evaluations are an important piece of Ohio’s accountability system, driving continuous improvement and helping to ensure Ohio’s families have quality school choice options.”
The sponsor evaluation system assists the Ohio Department of Education in its oversight of sponsors and helps increase the quality of sponsor practices. The evaluation framework is made up of three equally weighted components:
• Academic Performance;
• Compliance with Rules and Laws; and
• Quality Practices.
The Academic Performance component determines how well students are performing academically at sponsors’ schools. The Compliance component rates whether sponsors are compliant with all relevant laws and rules and whether sponsors are monitoring their schools’ compliance with laws and rules. The Quality Practices component, which was created using national standards and input from sponsors, looks at sponsors’ adherence to quality practices.
All three components are scored on a common scale (0-4 points) to allow for simple calculations. Sponsors receive points for each component that, when added together, provide a summative rating. The point scale for 2017-2018 is as follows:
Sponsor Rating Chart
Ohio law includes a set of incentives for sponsors rated “exemplary,” as well as a set of consequences for sponsors rated “ineffective” and “poor.” For example, a sponsor rated “exemplary” for two consecutive years is able to take advantage of incentives, including receiving a longer term on its contract with the Department. Any sponsor that receives an “ineffective” overall rating is prohibited from sponsoring any new or additional community schools, and the sponsor is subject to a quality improvement plan. Any sponsor that receives a “poor” rating or three consecutive “ineffective” ratings is subject to revocation of its sponsorship authority. An appeals process is available to sponsors that are subject to revocation of their sponsorship authority.
About the Ohio Department of Education
The Ohio Department of Education oversees the state’s public education system, which includes public school districts, joint vocational school districts and charter schools. The Department also monitors educational service centers, other regional education providers, early learning and child care programs, and private schools. The Department’s tasks include administering the school funding system, collecting school fiscal and performance data, developing academic standards and model curricula, administering the state achievement tests, issuing district and school report cards, administering Ohio’s voucher programs, providing professional development, and licensing teachers, administrators, treasurers, superintendents and other education personnel. The Department is governed by the State Board of Education with administration of the Department the responsibility of the superintendent of public instruction.