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MEXICO – Violence Against U.S. Targets in Mexico Increasing

On Friday, April 9th just before midnight, an unknown assailant tossed an explosive device over the wall surrounding the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The bomb caused some structural damage to the building, but no employees were injured. Mexican officials in Mexico City said they were reviewing evidence, including security camera video surveillance recordings. This attack is another link in an alarming chain of violence against U.S. targets in Mexico. Last month, a group conspired against U.S. consular workers in Ciudad Juarez who had been attending an engagement together. Gunmen followed and killed three individuals who had left the gathering, also injuring several of their children who were accompanying them. The U.S. Department of State has issued an updated travel warning for citizens of the United States in Mexico. The warning was issued to alert travelers to the risks in northern territories of Mexico. It also noted that drug cartels have retaliated violently against individuals who speak out against them or whom they otherwise view as a threat to their organizations. The State Department has also authorized approximately 100 family members of employees of the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez to depart Mexico for the United States amid concerns of increased security risk.
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SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa Contemplating New Policy on Business Immigration

South African officials have expressed concern that current immigration laws do not entice enough investors and entrepreneurial talent to the country. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor has consistently rated South Africa below other strong developing countries, which is due, in part, to its tight immigration policy that does not encourage a stead infusion of higher level skills and entrepreneurial-minded investors. Currently, in order to qualify for a business visa to South Africa the applicant must demonstrate an intention of investing at least 2.5 million Rand (~$350,000) in a new or existing business. This can be a serious barrier to entry for those who have innovative ideas, but little capital to get their business off the ground. Such businesses would need to begin operations elsewhere and then relocate to South Africa. While there is an exception to the capital investment rule, it is narrowly tailored to fit businesses in a limited number of industries.
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CANADA – Priority Occupation List Changing

Canada is restructuring its Priority Occupation List. Discussions on this issue indicate that a number of occupations that were previously eligible will now be taken off the list. The priority occupation list comprises the positions that the Canadian Government deems to be most in demand (i.e., hardest to fill with Canadian Citizens). The positions that will be removed are likely going to be those not considered professional-level jobs. Once the new occupation list is released, we will provide an update.
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