Best Of The Border (4/14-4/19)

Joshua trees
John Rosman
By John Rosman
April 20, 2013

Prolific Joshua Tree Bloom Could Signal Warming Climate

Each spring, many Joshua trees send out large pineapple-shaped crowns of white-green flowers. This year, the blooms are especially large, and widespread.

Biologists and ecologists don’t quite know what’s behind the high-volume bloom. Some think the trees are benefiting from just the right climate conditions. But others say the trees seem to be desperate to reproduce — stressed by two years of unusually low rainfall.

Feds Have Long Way To Go To Clean Up Navajo Uranium Sites

The EPA has spent more than $50 million to assess, fence off, contain and start to clean up the 500 abandoned uranium mining claims. It’s torn down more than 30 homes and hogans and shut down three wells. Federal agencies have piped or trucked clean water to 5,000 people. Agencies are designing a containment cell to hold the waste that remains at the largest mine site.

Photo by Mónica Ortiz Uribe
A former Bracero holds up his identification card from his days as a guest worker in the United States.

Guest Worker Programs Have A Long History In U.S.

In Juárez, dozens of angry men gather every Sunday.

They were among the first guest workers to come the United States back during World War II. Part of their paycheck went to a Mexican savings account, they were supposed to get back as pension money.

That never happened.

John Rosman
Potential pathway for DREAMers under the Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill

Gang Of Eight's New Pathways To Citizenship

The hotly anticipated bill to overhaul our nation's immigration system was released Wednesday by a bipartisan group of senators. At stake are the lives of at least 11 million — that’s the number of people living here without proper immigration documents.

We produced a radio story with Nintendo sound effects and mapped the new pathways for immigrants.

Colorado River Named Most Endangered

Each year the environmental group American Rivers lists 10 rivers it considers to be most threatened. Amy Kober is a spokeswoman for American Rivers. Kober said they choose rivers that appear to be at a crossroads, that are facing critical decision points.