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On Fronteras: A Documentary Profiles A Notorious Border Police Chief

Charlie Minn Films
Former Juarez Police Chief Julian Leyzaola, sitting, is the subject of the documentrary, "Mexico's Bravest Man," produced by Charlie Minn, standing.

This week on Fronteras:   

·         There’s a huge backlog in the U Visa program which gives immigrant crime victims visas for assisting law enforcement investigations.

·         A new documentary examines the notorious former police chief of Juarez and Tijuana – Julian Leyzaola.

·         High achieving students of color can suffer from what’s called “imposter syndrome.”

·         A New Mexico tribal community college encourages Native Americans to study engineering.

A Long Wait for U Visas

Police want undocumented immigrants to feel safe reporting crimes and not fear deportation. Fifteen years ago Congress created the U visa to give legal status to immigrant victims of serious crimes who help police with investigations. The program can issue 10,000 visas per year, but that’s not enough to serve all the immigrants on a waiting list. KUT’s Vanessa Rancaño reports.

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Documentary Profiles Controversial Border Police Chief

Julian Leyzaola became Tijuana’s police chief at the height of the cartel drug wars and then became the police chief in Ciudad Juarez, when it was called the murder capital of the world.  Leyzaola brought down the crime rates in both cities, but critics claim he used torture and violated human rights to do it. Leyzaola has paid a heavy price for his police career.  He’s survived numerous kidnappings and assassination attempts, including one last year that left him paralyzed.  Now there’s a documentary about Julian Leyzaola, called “Mexico’s Bravest Man”.  Maureen Cavanaugh of KPBS talked with the film’s director, Charlie Minn.

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College Students of Color Battle Imposter Syndrome

It’s not uncommon for some talented, high achieving students to feel unworthy when they’re accepted at top flight universities.  Psychologists have given that lack of self-worth a name- they call it imposter syndrome, and say people of color experience it more often than others.  Houston Public Media’s Laura Isensee reports on a mentoring program that helps students feel deserving and comfortable with their smarts.

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Tribal College Encouraging Native Americans to Study Engineering

Native Americans make up just a tiny percentage of the engineering workforce in the U.S., but a tribal community college in Albuquerque is trying to change that.  A Mars simulation and robotics program aims at getting Native American students involved in engineering and computer programming.  KUNM’s Marino Spencer reports.

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