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New Mexican Law Streamlines Cross-Border Non-Profit Donations

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Aired 4/19/09

A new law in Mexico makes it easier for non-profits there to receive charitable donations from outside the country. The law also streamlines process for people who want to give something to groups south of the border. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

The Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks, California recently donated a $25,000 piece of surgical equipment to a Tijuana non-profit that helps children who have cancer.

However, the process took eight months. The paperwork to get permission for the donation languished in Mexico City's bureaucracy. Meanwhile, the equipment sat in storage at the border.

Tijuana Congressman Carlos Torres, who championed the new law, says now the paperwork will be sent over the internet.

Torres says the new electronic filing process allows 220 non-profits in Baja California to receive donations without delay. He says groups could receive permission in as little as 30 minutes.

Torres says he was motivated to create the new law after hearing horror stories where people said it was too difficult to give or simply gave up.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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