News and Politics

The Role of Immigration in the Rise of U.S. Private Prisons

January 8, 2019

The past and present roles of immigration policy drive political, economic, and cultural dynamics in the formation of prison privatization. While inaugurated by President Nixon, succeeding administrations have continued to augment “tough on crime” strategies. The Reagan administration’s addition to the strategy was the infamous expansion of the use of private prisons to incarcerate individuals from at-risk communities, such as low-income minority neighborhoods. Often forgotten is that the groundwork for the development of private prisons was laid by immigration.

The future of Mexico with AMLO

January 3, 2019

At the start of this month, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, often referred to as AMLO, was sworn in as the latest president of Mexico and the first leftist leader to be elected since 2000.  He entered office with a relatively high approval rating of 56 percent, considering the 24 percent approval rating of his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, upon leaving office. Following his official ceremony, López Obrador took part in a traditional indigenous ceremony in Mexico City’s Zócalo square (BBC News 2018).

Symbolic power shift as China signs $1.4 billion contract with Panama

December 12, 2018

On Tuesday, December 6, news broke that the government of Panama had awarded a $1.4 billion contract to a Chinese consortium to initiate a new infrastructure project on the Panama Canal. The new contract will allow the Chinese consortium to begin construction of a massive bridge over the Panama Canal connecting Panama City to its western suburbs. This deal comes directly after Chinese president Xi Jinping paid a visit to Panama—the first Chinese leader ever to do so—during a 4-part tour to Spain, Argentina, Panama and Portugal. President Xi’s tour overlapped with the occurrence of this year’s G20 Summit in Buenos Aires.

Un discurso con los activistas jóvenes de la Alianza Cívica de Nicaragua/A discussion with the young activists of Nicaragua's Civic Alliance

December 3, 2018

Desde abril de este año, el Estado de Nicaragua ha experimentado un desorden completo, y el gobierno de Daniel Ortega y su esposa (y vicepresidente), Rosario Murillo, están en una posición de encrucijada. Esta situación empezó con manifestaciones después de la decisión de Ortega de reducir el presupuesto para los programas de seguridad social en Nicaragua, que afectaría a millones de ciudadanos.

Spanish in U.S. Education

November 27, 2018

“Only 20.7 percent of American adults can speak a foreign language — compared with 66 percent of all European adults who know more than one language” (Zietlow, 2017). This statistic is often justified by the American explanation that for Europeans, due to the close proximity of different countries, learning a foreign language is easy because it is as though each state in the United States spoke a different language. As if for some reason close neighbors that speak a different language make it more common for Europeans to learn a second or even third language.

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