Video: Illegal Border Crossing for tourists

This video was created to go with this Los Angeles Times report.

How many non-immigrant visas did the United States grant in Mexico last year?

In the year ending September 2007, the U.S embassy in Mexico processed applications for 1,300,000 non-immigrant visas (visitor, student, temporary work, and other categories) according to this page on the site of the U.S Embassy in Mexico. This year the embassy is projecting more than 1,600,000 applications – and projections are generally overtaken by actual applications, as the graph at the bottom of this page shows.

I called the Embassy myself this week to find out how many of the 1,300,000 non-immigrant visas processed last year were actually granted, but was told that information is not available. Then I emailed a press and information officer at the Department of Home Security and was directed to this page.

According to THAT info, not including border passes, a total of 1,027,737 non-immigrant visas were issued from Mexico last year. That would suggest that only 272,263 non-immigrant visa applications DIDN’T get granted by the US Embassy in Mexico, if their figures are anything to go by. Can that be right? Was Juan just one of the unlucky few?

Or is my maths just wrong? Please click on the image below to see it in full – it won’t fit in this blogging template.
imm stats

Figures provided by the U.S Department of State

Talk of ‘illegals’ in Beverly Hills

Hollywood, Los Angeles, February 2008The bar was beautiful, and so was she. Utterly Los Angeles, she wore a knee length dress with a low-cut top, allowing her audience to enjoy her full breasts framed by a fake fur coat that hung off her shoulders.

The Beverly Hills hotel bar was comfortably full of what its image suggests is the normal fare: gorgeous women being pampered by old, wrinkled men in expensive suits; one or two famous actors; wide-eyed tourists; and young men and women sharking the crowd.

‘I prefer my boring life,’ she said after discovering I live in Mexico City. Boring is preferable to being kidnapped was what she meant, after finding out where I make my home. Mexico City gets a lot of bad press.

Single-mother to a 19-year old daughter, she looked not much older than my 31 years. A life spent doing small acting parts, bussing tables in Los Angeles and before that Las Vegas; hers was the life of many. It’s hard to remember where the conversation started, but before I knew it she was off on what was clearly one of her hobby horses: ‘illegals’. Continue reading