AUTHOR

Greg Weeks

National Views on Immigration

The Pew Research Center has some data on public views of immigration. What it shows is widespread agreement on a lot of issues currently portrayed in the media as divisive.
When it comes to undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. illegally, a majority of Americans continue to support a way for them to stay in the country legally. 
Overall, 72% say there should be a way for undocumented immigrants to stay in the country legally, if certain requirements...

TPS for Venezuelans

The Trump administration officially does not like Temporary Protected Status because it is not temporary enough. As the leader of a think tank committed to drastically curtailing immigration put it, "the 'guest' never leaves." Therefore, even while U.S. policy helps push Venezuelans to emigrate, the administration is not eager to protect them if they come here.

The problem with that position is that it runs directly against the hardline Cuban-American and Venezuelan-American...

Impeachment in Paraguay (Again!)

Latin American impeachment is a no-confidence vote these days. I wrote about it for Brazil three years ago and then talked to Leiv Marsteintredet about it on my podcast two years ago. Paraguay is the most recent example, where Mario Abdo faces calls for impeachment over a controversial energy deal with Brazil.

"We are going to prepare the corresponding documentation for the prosecution of poor performance. We have to do new elections," said Efrain Alegre, leader of Paraguay's...

Michelle Bachelet Blasts Maduro

I had been meaning to write a post on Michelle Bachelet's scathing report on human rights in Venezuela after her visit leading a UN team, but hadn't gotten to it. I did a Twitter thread with quotes from the report (which you can read here). You can also take a look at Andrés Cañizález's article in Global Americans.

Taken along with Bachelet's own comments, the UN is saying that the Venezuelan government is both inept and intensely brutal toward its own citizens, and that...

Conditions of Imprisoned Immigrants

From a report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General. These are just direct quotes about the Rio Grande Valley area.

Specifically, we encourage the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley.  
 ...
During the week of June 10, 2019, we traveled to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and again observed...

Thoughts on the Venezuela Sanctions

Here is the text of the new Venezuela sanctions. Headlines inaccurately refer to them as a "total economic embargo." They are not "total" because they focus only on specific people around Nicolás Maduro. The private sector is not targeted. For targeted people, they target "funds, goods, or services." But they do freeze all assets in the U.S.

This is obviously a severe tightening of what already exists, and it will really hurt Venezuelans, who are already leaving the country...

End of Chile's Copper Law

J.C. Arancibia has the details on the end of Chile's copper law. This is long overdue. It was a 1958 law, later reformed by (but not created by) Augusto Pinochet* to guarantee 10% of copper revenue to the Chilean armed forces.

I followed it closely while researching and writing my dissertation, followed by subsequent publications. It was a major way for the military to evade civilian control and remain very well-funded, even to the alarm of Chile's neighbors. I started my fieldwork...

Review of The MVP Machine

Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik's The MVP Machine: How Baseball's New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players is an excellent, if slightly too long, baseball book. They argue that lots of people have noted the shift toward more granular ways of evaluating players, but few have looked into how data is used to development them, to actually change and shape them.

With the ever-annoying but driven Trevor Bauer as a major case study, they dive into the world of...

Dealing With Bad Debt

The question of how to deal with bad debt has long been a problem in Latin America. Some government or series of governments incurs debt to keep spending high, which at some point becomes unsustainable and there is political transition. The loans keep coming despite the obvious disaster because creditors assume the government will be forced to pay eventually, even if at a discount. (Though Néstor Kirchner famously gave creditors the middle finger).

As Patrice Franko writes...

Alva Noé's Infinite Baseball

Alva Noe's Infinite Baseball: Notes From a Philosopher at the Ballpark sounds so intriguing. What you get, though, is a hodgepodge of previously published pieces with a tacked on introduction. By the time I got through the introduction, I was already getting disappointed. One theme he comes back to is that baseball is a game of responsibility--we're always trying to assign credit or blame for what happens. Such credit or blame ultimately takes the form of numbers, but...
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