PANEL: Working Together to Create a 21st Century Border: A Mayor's Perspective on the US-Mexico Border

NDN and NPI are proud to say that the first LAPI-21st Century Border Inititiave Policy Day, was a huge sucess. The day featured speeches from senior officials from the White House, the State Department, United States Trade Representatives, and Local Officials speaking. The day also covered a wide spectrum of views on the America's and the border.

The 21st Century Border portion of the day focused first on the perspective of a Mayor who lives and works with a Mexican Border, this panel was moderated by Chappell Lawson, Associate Professor of Politics at MIT and featured the Mayor of Nogales Arturo Garino.

This important conversation hit upon three important facts:

Nogales Arizona, and Nogales Sonora are more or less the same city with a dividing border between them. Mayor Garino noted over and over that together there is a population of nearly 80 thousand people who cross back and forth a day. What happens to one side effects the other (See Photo).

EXCEPT when it comes to border Security, Mayor Garino was emphatic in stating that the border is safe on the American side. There has been little spillover in violence from Mexico into the United States. Mayor Garino is a former law enforcement officer in Nogales. He noted that in the 80's there were actual cases of spillover violence. According to the Mayor in the 80's there were not as many law enforcement officials along the border. Today, the sheer number of law enforcement officials both federal and local stop the cartels from coming over and inciting violence.

Mayor Garino finished by noting that the rhetoric surrounding border (which is untrue) is hurting cities along the border. He underscored the importance of commerce both into and out of Mexico plays a huge role in not only the economies along the border but the nation as a whole.

NDN will be putting up video from the discussion shortly.