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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

U.S. SCHOLAR: MEXICAN OFFICIALS MAKE TOO MUCH $$$

A new study by George Grayson, professor of government of the College of William & Mary, says Mexican politicians make "extremely high salaries." President Vicente Fox ($236,693) makes more than the leaders of France ($95,658), the U.K. ($211,434), and Canada ($75,582). And Although they are in session only a few months a year, Mexican deputies take home at least $148,000—substantially more than their counterparts in France ($78,000), and Germany ($105,000). The study was published by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Monday, May 29, 2006

WILL U.S. SENATE, SOCCER CUP, BE ENOUGH TO HELP MEXICO'S CALDERON GET ELECTED?

The U.S. Senate's passage of a bill to legalize about eight million undocumented workers in the United States-- and the World Soccer Cup -- will give an extra push to Mexico's government-backed candidate, Felipe Calderón, in his bid to win the July 2 presidential elections. Read my column on this in The Miami Herald.

Friday, May 26, 2006

ASK ANDRES OPPENHEIMER ABOUT HIS COLUMNS AND THE LATEST EVENTS

Click on "COMMENTS" and write your question. Oppenheimer will answer selected questions at the beginning of every week.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

COLUMN: WHY THE BORDER WALL WON'T WORK

If there was any doubt that the $1.9 billion that President Bush wants to spend to build a wall and post 6,000 more troops along the U.S.-Mexico border will not do much to solve the immigration problem, a new study shows that about half of all undocumented workers in the United States have entered the country legally and overstayed their visas. Read the column in The Miami Herald.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

U.S.-VENEZUELAN BUSINESS TIES ALIVE AND WELL

Fortalecen relación Washington y Chávez
Buenos Aires, Argentina-Pese a sus mutua retórica confrontativa, Washington y Caracas ahondaron sus lazos comerciales con el plan de inversiones por 500 millones de dólares para 2006 anunciado por la empresa Citgo, la filial estadounidense de Pdvsa, para mejorar sus refinerías en los Estados Unidos. The full story is in today's Reforma, of Mexico.
P.S.: A week ago we reported in my column that Venezuela's exports to the U.S. soared from $15.2 billion in 2001 to $34 billion in 2005. And it wasn't just oil: Venezuela's exports of iron, steel and vehicles to the U.S. grew as well.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

COLUMN: HOW TO HELP U.S. RETIREES - AND MEXICO, TOO

Here's a proposal that would allow the United States to solve its immigration crisis, control sky-high healthcare costs and rebuild ties with Latin America in one stroke: Make it easier for millions of Americans to retire in style and pay lower medical bills south of the border. Read more about the proposal in The Oppenheimer Report.

Friday, May 19, 2006

ENGLISH AS THE U.S. NATIONAL LANGUAGE - PRESSING ISSUE, OR POLITICAL SMOKE SCREEN?

The U.S. Senate's approval Thursday of a proposal to make English "the national language," as reported in today's Miami Herald, makes me wonder: is this a pressing national issue in a country with a healthy economy and historically low unemployment rates, or is it a smoke screen by Republican conservatives to draw national attention away from the Iraq war as we approach the November Congressional elections? The Senate's vote story is in today's Miami Herald.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

THE FALLOUT OF BUSH'S IMMIGRATION SPEECH

A little-noticed side-effect of Bush's speech Monday on immigration: it has drawn a widespread negative reaction in Mexico, and could help leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gain ground in the race for the July 2 presidential elections. Read it in my column in The Miami Herald.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

WAS HE REFERRING TO LOU DOBBS? PAT BUCHANAN? OR REP. TOM TANCREDO?

A very important but totally overlooked sentence in President Bush's address to the nation Monday night on immigration. Bush said, "We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone's fears, or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain. We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions, and that every human being has dignity and value, no matter what their citizenship papers say."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

CHAVEZ FOR THUMB-SUCKERS

A story in Britain's The Guardian on "the Venezuelan socialist leader who is tackling poverty." Except that it fails to mention that poverty has GROWN in Venezuela between 1999 and 2004, despite one of the biggest oil windfalls in that country's history. Oh, well..... You can read it in The Guardian.

GOOD QUESTION - WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?

While Congress debates about the fate of 12 million unauthorized immigrants, it is important to keep in mind that they have more than 5 million children. Two-thirds of these children are U.S.-born citizens, a share that increases to 93 percent among those under age 6. If unauthorized parents are forced to leave the country, they will have to make a difficult choice: whether to leave their children behind or take them to another country. To learn more, there is a new fact sheet from the Urban Institute.