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Getting deported turned my life around

Undocumented: How an ICE raid shattered this family's American dream

If you ask Orlando Lopez, getting deported was the best thing that ever happened to him.

His parents had brought him to the United States when he was just three years old, hoping to offer him a better life. But by the time he was a teenager, Lopez’s future was looking bleak.

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Lopez recalls that he was a good student at his Fort Worth, Texas high school. But he says he was also a wannabe gangster who ended up serving seven years behind bars. He earned his GED while incarcerated.

At age 24, after serving his time, he was deported to Mexico.

“Being deported was the best thing that’s happened to me,” said Lopez, now 38. “The rhythm of the life I was living, I would have been a statistic.”

Today, Lopez lives in Chihuahua, Mexico, with his wife and daughter. “Being here in Mexico, I found my wife and we have a beautiful baby daughter together — those are huge blessings,” he said.

Related: After ICE raided a California factory, this family’s American Dream was shattered

When he arrived in Mexico, Lopez was able to leverage his fluent English speaking skills to find work. For the past 10 years, he’s worked at an international call center that provides customer service, mostly for U.S.-based companies and their customers.

Lopez said about 30% of the workers in the Chihuahua call center grew up in the U.S. and were either deported or returned to Mexico on their own. That mix has helped to keep the office culture very American, but new workers still get homesick for the U.S., he said.

“I understand that making pesos and making dollars, there’s a huge difference, and you can’t immediately give yourself the quality of life that you had in the States,” Lopez said.

Related: How much it costs ICE to deport an undocumented immigrant

His own transition to Mexican life had its fair share of hurdles — from the uncertainty of couch surfing with friends and family to adjusting to the culture. “In Mexico, there’s no personal space. I had to tell people that I’m not used to them standing so close to me,” he said.

But Lopez has since adjusted — and flourished — in Mexico.

Lopez arrived in Mexico just as the economy was on an upswing. Now he and his family are part of the country’s burgeoning middle class.

orlando lopez family
The Lopez family in Mexico.

He climbed through the ranks at the call center over the years and today he oversees 17 employee trainers and its 80-plus customer service representatives.

“I love the people here, and helping to develop their careers,” he said. “We’ve formed a bond of support. All of us who are in the same situation know each other.”

Lopez now owns two cars and can take his family on vacations overseas. He’s even become a homeowner. After two and a half years on the job, the call center’s employees can qualify for a mortgage through the company’s affiliation with Mexico’s national mortgage lender, Infonavit.

“I tell my mom that if I lived in the States, I don’t know if I’d own my own house. I think I’d be renting,” he said.

Related: She was 13 when her family fled to Mexico

Lopez admits that not everyone in Mexico has had the opportunities that he has had. He said growing up in the U.S. and speaking fluent English has given him a leg up when it comes to finding work.

orlando lopez graduating
Lopez (center) celebrating with his mom and brother after earning his certification as an auto mechanic while in prison.

“It won’t be the same thing as life in the U.S., but there are plenty of jobs here because of your English,” he said.

To undocumented Mexicans living in fear of being deported in the U.S., Lopez said Mexico isn’t the country they remember leaving. Plus, he said, if they end up in Mexico they could come out from the shadows.

“Though your cage may be gilded, it doesn’t stop being a prison,” he said about life in the U.S. “In Mexico, at least you’d be free.”

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Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/money_topstories/~3/IwDGjeGnB9E/index.html

Rates Cap Impressively Sideways Week Near Long-Term Lows

Weeks like this are the reason that some mortgage rate analysis is only done once a week. There haven’t been any significant developments in financial markets–at least not as far as bonds (which dictate rates) have been concerned.  And there certainly hasn’t been any significant movement in mortgage rates themselves.  In fact, with the exception of a modest dip last Wednesday, mortgage rates have been essentially flat for the entire month of June.

As we’ve discussed all week, being “flat” at current levels is a good thing considering lenders continue quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates in a range from 3.875% to 4.0% on top tier scenarios.  Almost any borrower will have seen the exact same interest rate quote throughout June.  Any detectable variation has come in the form of upfront costs.  These adjustments are typically minimal, and equate to 0.01-0.02% in terms of effective interest rate.   Bottom line, while only June 14th can claim the title of “best day for rates in over 8 months,” everything else has been strikingly close for more than 3 weeks now.

Movement potential increases next week.  Risk-averse clients are well within their right to prefer locking, given the nearness to long-term lows.  Risk-tolerant clients can afford to wait and see if next week’s economic data ends up helping rates break lower through this extended floor.

Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 3.875-4.00
  • FHA/VA – 3.5-3.75% 
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.125-3.25%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.75 – 3.25% depending on the lender


Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Investors were relatively convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates had been permanently reversed after Trump became president, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm

  • Instead of continuing higher in 2017, rates instead formed a narrow, sideways range, and held inside until April.  Investor perceptions are shifting such that fiscal reforms and other policy developments will need to live up to expectations in order to push rates higher.  Geopolitical risks would also need to avoid flaring up (more than they already have)
     
  • For the first time since the election, we’re in a rate environment where you wouldn’t be crazy not to lock at every little opportunity/improvement.  Until/unless it’s broken, the highest rates of early-2017 mark the ceiling, and we’re now waiting to see how much lower we can go from here.
     
  • Rates discussed refer to the most frequently-quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers among average to well-priced lenders.  The rates generally assume little-to-no origination or discount except as noted when applicable.  Rates appearing on this page are “effective rates” that take day-to-day changes in upfront costs into consideration.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/749816.aspx

Suspect Surrenders From Stolen SUV at Vegas Strip Casino

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Article source: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/nevada/articles/2017-06-24/suspect-barricaded-inside-stolen-suv-at-vegas-casino-garage

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