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On Fronteras: More Migrant Children? Border Dentistry And Talking In Code

Texas Tribune

— Last summer tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American minors crossed the Rio Grande and entered the United States.  Many were fleeing violence in their countries.  Ambassador Thomas Shannon tells Fronteras the U.S. government is hoping a plan being implemented will prevent another wave of child migrants.  

—After living illegally for years in the United States many residents of  Tijuana, Mexico,  are being deported to Mexico.   Read on for why they're waiting in Tijuana.

— Many Texans, and people from different parts of the U.S., have been making trips to Mexico to see dentists who are less expensive.  But there are safety concerns and that's affecting cross-border dental business.

— In neighboring New Mexico theres a different dental problem. Dentists aren’t just expensive; they’re too far away or don't exist at all.   New Mexico is now looking at legislation that proposes some unique solutions to this toothy issue.

— Finally, here’s one for the ages: The story of how the United States recruited Navajo Code Talkers and the role these men played in winning World War II.


other Surge Around The Corner?

A little under a year ago, tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America crossed the Rio Grande into the United States. Now, as the peak migration season approaches, federal officials are watching to see whether there will be another surge of children coming over our southern border.

Ambassador Thomas Shannon is a senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. This week, he traveled to San Antonio to talk with the World Affairs Council about the U.S. response to the Central American migrant crisis. He then sat down with Fronteras and Texas Public Radio’s Shelley Kofler to discuss the likelihood of another surge, and what happened to thousands of children who were crowded into detention centers along the border.

Giving Up On A U.S. Dream, Those Deported Search For Jobs 

A growing number of people deported to Tijuana, Mexico, right on the California border, have lived years, sometimes decades, in the United States before being deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. KPBSFronteras Reporter Jean Guerrero says that for now, many have given up on returning to the United States and are just trying to find jobs in Tijuana, mere blocks from San Diego, so they can be close enough for their families in the U.S. to visit.

Crossing The Border For Your Local Dentist Is Now Risky Business

Now to the Texas border where a dentist appointment for some means a trip to Mexico. Dental insurance and care in the U.S. is often more expensive or unavailable. And that has created a steady stream of dental patients traveling to Ojinaga, the Mexican city that lies just across the border from Presidio in West Texas.

A 2011 study on cross-border healthcare says that 41 percent of Americans surveyed have had dental work done in Mexico, and it’s all about the money. But concern about traveling safely in Mexico has affected this pilgrimage, as Marfa Public Radio’s Mia Warren reports.

A Shortage Of Dentists Has New Mexico Looking At Dental Therapists

There is a serious shortage of dental care in New Mexico. Sometimes the problem is geographic — the nearest dentist is more than 60 miles away. Often, the barrier is financial. Advocates have tried for years to pass legislation that would create a new breed of mid-level dental care providers to fill the gaps.  As KUNM’s Marisa Demarcoreports from Albequerque, could dental therapists, people who are trained to do routine dental procedures, be the answer?

Stories From The War Chest: Language And The Navajo Code Talkers

Here’s the story of a disappearing language and how it helped win World War II. We’re talking about the Navaho Code Talkers who used their little known language to communicate secret information during the war. There may be no more than 20 Navajo Code Talkers still living and two recently traveled to Fort Worth for a rare town hall meeting. KERA’sDoualyXaykaothaospoke with Peter MacDonald Sr. and Dan Akee at an aircraft hangar on the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth.

TPR's Shelley Kofler was host of this week’s Fronteras broadcast.  Shelley and Alexis Yancey produced the program with web assistance from Kadambari  Wade.  Charanga Cakewalk composed the program theme music.

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.