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Best Of The Border (3/3-3/8)

The week's top stories from Fronteras: The Changing America Desk:

Is It End Of The Chicano Generation?

On the campus of San Diego State University recently, Sandy Chavez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, said, without hesitation, that she thinks of herself primarily as American.

Yes, she is Latina, of Mexican heritage. She’s visited family in Mexico, and on weekends as a child she woke up to her parents playing Mexican music on the stereo. But she’s never described herself principally as Mexican or Latina, much less Chicana, a term preferred by many young Mexican-Americans in the 1960s and 70s.

“A lot of people say Latina, Chicana. I don’t even really know the distinction between them,” Chavez said.

Photo by Criss Furman

Jamil Coury, left, and Nick Coury run in the Silverton Day 6 Race, which they directed and competed in.

Why Is The West So Great For Ultramarathons?

To complete a marathon — a 26.2 mile race — is certainly an accomplishment.

But ultrarunners consider that distance a warm-up. Officially the definition of an ultramarathon is anything longer than 26.2 miles, but standard ultra races are 50 to 100 miles, racing on roads or trails.

And while ultrarunning is a global sport, several of the most popular races take place in the Western United States.

ICE Using New Tool For Detention Decisions

In recent months, ICE has quietly shifted to using a new instrument to make custody decisions.

The new tool is called the Risk Classification Assessment, and it is supposed be fully implemented nationwide this year.

Those who have knowledge of the tool say it is an automated, computerized system developed by a criminal justice expert to guide ICE officers. It determines whether an immigrant facing deportation should be locked up for the duration of those court proceedings, or should be let out on bond, or on a supervision program, like an ankle bracelet.

Top DHS checkpoint refusals

What Happens If You Don't Cooperate At Border Check Points?

When a driver approaches a Border Patrol checkpoint, the drill is to pull off the highway, wait in line, and then a Border Patrol agent will ask, “Are you an American citizen?”

If you answer “yes," in most instances you’ll soon be back on the road.

But what happens if you refuse to answer?

That’s what some people are doing and their videos are a YouTube sensation. It’s not quite the Harlem Shake, but motorists who shake off questions from Border Patrol agents, are seeing their videos go viral.

What Does The World's Richest Man Have To Do With Mexico's Digital Divide?

There are fewer than 41 million Internet users in Mexico — that’s a connectivity rate of just 36 percent in Latin America’s second-largest economy.

Around 17 percent of individuals can access the Internet in their homes. For an economy of its size, this digital divide is stark compared to it's neighbors in the region. In Brazil, the region's largest economy, 38 percent can access internet from their home.

The name Carlos Slim might be fresh on American minds — he was just named by Forbes the richest person on the planet for the fourth year in a row. And critics claim the high cost of broadband access and Slim's dominance in that market are large factors in the Mexico digital divide.