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Trump’s success lights spark in Latino community

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  Donald Trump’s presidential campaign not only hovers over the idea of a bigger wall, but it also lights a fire under the Latino community that hasn’t been ignited in a long time. Whether it is for humor on social media or political debates and violent rallies across the nation, Trump’s platform brings a level of fear into the Latino community. Unlike the average fear, it’s not pushing Latino people away but uniting them to oppose the presumptive Republican candidate. According to Chula Robertson, an organizer for Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit organization that urges Latinos to promote social and economic justice through civic participation, this is the wake-up call the voting community has been waiting for to get Latinos to vote. “Though we are nonpartisan, we hear it all the time, ‘We want to vote so this guy doesn’t win,’”...

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Paintress of the desert drives a campaign

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When Gretchen Baer walks into the High Desert Market, her mid-calf plaid Chucks distinguish her from the already unique art community of Bisbee, Arizona. The Massachusetts native says art has always been central to her life, but it only recently has become the hub of her political views. “Art in the political realm is a wide open field,” Baer says. “It’s a match made in heaven.” In an effort to “put the party back in Democratic Party,” Baer has taken her art on the road in the form of her Hillary Clinton art car. This painting on wheels started back in 2008, along with the creation of Baer’s Hillary Clinton Army. While Baer initially started the party to support Clinton, she stressed that the main point of the group is to create art and more importantly to have a...

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Despite rhetoric, refugees are a humanitarian concern

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Without warning, a sudden deafening sound is followed by a wave of pressure passing through the body. Time seems to slow as the quick flash is finally registered by the eyes only to be quickly replaced by clouds of dust and smoke. The heart races and confused thoughts begin to desperately piece together information. Disoriented, reality begins to slowly creep into a muffled consciousness. An explosion has just taken place. Soon, the dust clears and sounds become sharper. What had been a busy street filled with people going about their day is now rubble. The window fronts of markets are shattered and collapsed, bodies lie tattered and torn on the ground. Those who can move have fled the area to find shelter. All that is left in this wake of destruction is an empty street filled with misery and...

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Nogales Connection: Daily shuttle service delivers

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Inside the neon green and yellow shack on 6th Avenue, a few blocks outside of South Tucson, there are four rows of connected seats facing the entrance and a gray television set broadcasting an episode of Malcolm in the Middle dubbed in Spanish. A glossy Mexican national flag is painted across the wall behind the rows of seats, and candlelight reflects off of a porcelain figurine of La Virgen de Guadalupe placed on a small stool by the ticket counter. Luis Alberto Lopez Hernandez, a contracted shuttle driver for the family owned Sahuaro Shuttle service, pulls his 14-passenger van up to the side of the vibrantly colored building and plants a stool in front of its opened double doors. “Nogales! Quien va para Nogales? (Who’s going to Nogales?),” he announces in front of the shuttle. He jokes with the other drivers before attentively greeting the four...

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Budget spends millions for unwanted Border Strike Force

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The latest budget deal spends million of dollars on a new Border Strike Force created at Gov. Ducey’s request last year, but border county sheriffs say they want no part of it. The budget deal appropriates a total of $26.6 million to the Department of Public Safety specifically for the Border Strike Force under its command, which is about $5 million less than Ducey’s original $31.5 million bid. During his State of the State speech in January, Ducey called the Border Strike Force “a partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement that’s providing a force multiplier in the fight against drug cartels and border crimes.” That partnership was rocky from the start, spurring criticisms from border sheriffs in Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties. They remain skeptical about the Border Strike Force’s need, operational plan, effectiveness and...

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Seeking Safe Haven: Central American children hope to find refuge across U.S.-Mexico Border

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About an hour south of Tucson, on the other side of a fence that demarcates the United States from Mexico, a humanitarian crisis unfolds as tens of thousands of child migrants from Central America cross the border. Over the past five years, more than 140,000 children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have made the more than 2,000 mile, two-week minimum journey on foot without a guaranteed source of food, water or shelter all in hope of finding a safe haven in the U.S. Along the way, these children are vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation and abuse in addition to innumerable hazards on the road. Every day, more children arrive from these countries, and surpassed the number of migrant children from Mexico for the first time in 2013. By 2014, the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border,...

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Foley’s War: Occupying the U.S.-Mexico Border

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Wind whips through the dry grass at the base of the U.S.-Mexico border fence where Tim Foley stands smoking a cigarette and surveying vast wilderness of the Altar Valley. Here, just west of the Sasabe border crossing, the 20-foot tall steel fencing abruptly gives way to straggling barbed wire as the physical border, so easily drawn on a map, cuts across rugged terrain into the Baboquivari Mountains and the Tohono O’odham reservation. Foley brings people to this spot to demonstrate what he considers a lack of border security. Places like this are wide open. Anyone can pass through. Not that the fence is stopping anybody anyway, he says. The founding member of the Arizona Border Recon, Foley, with his loyal pitbull Rocco, leads a group of well-armed volunteers who patrol the desert for people and drugs crossing illegally from...

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Border road trip reveals desire for change

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One day, three cities, five people. The trip from Douglas to Naco to Nogales is a classic look into the American Southwest. The sun is hot, there is a sea of yellow grass, and each downtown vaguely emanates the Wild West. Along the endless stretches of highway, however, modernity breaks up the timelessness. U.S. Border Patrol cars — fleets of white SUVs, its purpose stated boldly in green, police lights fixed to the roof — race around the charcoal concrete, searching for interlopers. Driving through Arizona’s border towns, the picture can be deceptively simple. On a Sunday, there are people pouring out of churches, milling about in city green spaces, and squeezing in some work. Yet this lazy Sunday belies the hotbed of activity that these towns are fused with. Life in these cities is undeniably affected by its...

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Latin food flavors have multiple connections

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  South American and Latin American flavors are finding their way into Mexican cuisine. An Agricultural Marketing Resource Center study shows Mexicans are now the largest minority group living in the U.S., and within the restaurant industry Mexican food consumption is increasing faster than any other segment. Chicken and cheese enchiladas. Fajitas. Bean and cheese burritos. Little taquitos with salsa. They are all ideal Mexican meals in the United States. But Peruvian, Venezuelan, Brazilian and other Latin American cuisines are leavening influence on Mexican flavors. Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine, 6878 E. Sunrise Drive in Tucson, contributes to the emerging Latin taste.. Restaurant Owner Luis Campos sees that trend. “Mexicans and Americans love food that they are familiar with and is similar to their own,” Campos said. “An example would be Ceviche (a seafood dish). Ceviche is from Mexico, yet as a Peruvian...

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Miracle Valley: A land sullied by history

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MIRACLE VALLEY — Once home to a Bible college, a cult, a bombing, a shooting and a police brawl, Miracle Valley can be a transformative place. The small place with a complicated history where the border and the San Pedro River meet is known mostly for its revivalists and broken promises. Its stories have been cataloged extensively in two books by William R. Daniel, that tell of the 300-member church that came from Chicago in 1978, led by Pastor Frances Thomas, and in four years took run of the place over police, making national news. Today, the flat strip of Highway 92 between Sierra Vista and Bisbee, stretched between two mountains, lies parallel to the border three miles south and perpendicular to the San Pedro. West of the river, the highway intersects a street called “Healing Way.” A Bible...

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