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On Fronteras: Pope Francis' U.S. Visit, Canada Border Threat, Selena's New Track

This week on Fronteras: 

--Pope Francis makes an historic visit to America – entering as a migrant.  San Antonio Catholics react to his speech addressing a joint session of Congress.

--How much influence does Pope Francis have?  A fellow Argentinean mother hopes he can help her son, a convicted murderer, get off on death row.

--A memorial honoring families torn apart by deportation goes up near the California-Mexico border.

-- We’re used to hearing about threats on the US-Mexico border but there’s also danger on our border with Canada.

--Efforts to identify a Hispanic man severely injured 15 years ago may pay off soon.  He’s known as 66 Garage.

--Selena’s family releases a new song 20 years after her death

Pope Makes Historic Visit To U.S. As A Migrant

Pope Francis walks on U.S. soil for the first time.  Thousands gathered to welcome the pope during his historic visit.  With immigration a major theme, the Vatican emphasized Pope Francis entered America as a migrant.  In one of only four speeches he made in English during his trip, Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress on Thursday.

It was a message that resonated strongly at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, which lays claim to being the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest.  Texas Public Radio’s Shelley Kofler reports the Pontiff’s words reinforced convictions important to the work and faith of many at the university.

Can Pope Francis Save Man On Death Row?

Pope Francis is one of the most recognized public figures around the world and the papacy holds a position of major influence. The pope is from Argentina and a countryman man convicted of murder hopes that influence is powerful enough to get him off death row.  KUT’s Joy Diaz talked with the man’s mother who managed to get  an audience with the pope last year.  

Here's the story. 

Memorial Wall Honors Families Torn Apart By Deportations

Near the California-Mexico border in advance of Pope Francis’ visit, a memorial wall commemorating families torn apart by deportations went up outside of a San Ysidro church.  A granite plaque on the cement brick wall quotes Pope Francis’s inclusive theme he chose for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in July: “Church without frontiers, mother of all.”  KPBS Fronteras reporter Jean Guerrero attended the dedication and talked with one immigrant about why the memorial is important to families like hers.  

Here's the story. 

Northern U.S. Border Poses Security Risk

The US has fortified the border with Mexico since 9-11 in the name of intercepting terrorists and undocumented migrants. But some people believe there’s a greater potential threat of terrorists entering the US on the northern border—with Canada—than from the Mexico border. The story from Fronteras reporter Lorne Matalon  in Montreal. 

Here's the story. 

Effort To Identify 66 Garage May Pay Off Soon

Now back to California where there’s news on a Latino man who has been on life support the past 15 years.  Found severely injured in a car accident near the border, the man nicknamed 66 Garage, lives in a Coronado nursing home.  KPBS partner inewssource reporter Joanne Faryon says a coordinated effort to identify him may pay off soon.   

Here's the story. 

Selena’s Family Release New Song

Fans of the Texan pop star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez have a new song to listen to.  Twenty years after her shooting death, and after years of requests from fans, the singer's family released an early demo of the previously unheard song, "Oh No (I'll Never Fall in Love Again)."  KUT’s Mose Buchelle has details on the song and a new plan for “seeing” Selena in concert again. 

Here's the story. 

Virginia joined Texas Public Radio in September, 2015. Prior to hosting and producing Fronteras for TPR, she worked at WBOI in Indiana to report on often overlooked stories in the community. Virginia began her reporting career at the Statehouse in Salem, OR, and has reported for the Northwest News Network and Oregon Public Broadcasting.