Making the Case for the 21st Century Border Initiative at the University of Richmond

NDN was fortunate enough to be invited to talk at the University of Richmond Spanish in the Community program about our 21st Century Border Initiative Program.

The interdisciplinary program is designed to allow students to engage in "Lectures presented by influential business, media, political, and government leaders—many of whom are active in the local Spanish-speaking community—bring the emphasis to comprehension and production through immersion in context."

NDN was pleased to present and foster a dialogue and debate about the southwest border region and immigration reform. The presentation was intended to educated the students about the very real progress made in creating a safer and more economically dynamic region and what that means for future movement on comprehensive immigration reform:

Regarding border safety, the presentation highlighted the fact that overall violence along the Southwest Border has been in decline for some time and that overall the region is quite safe:

The FBI report on Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime shows that nationally, including border states, all four categories of violent crime declined overall compared to 2008:robbery, 8.1 percent; murder, 7.2 percent; aggravated assault, 4.2 percent; and forcible rape, 3.1 percent. Violent crime declined 4.0 percent in metropolitan counties. The same report shows that in Texas, violent crime rates declined,by 3.5 percent to 123,668 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2009.  From 2009 to 2010 in the 4 Texas border states, El Paso, Laredo, Brownsville and McAllen all saw drops in violent crime. By contrast Dayton, Ohio part of Speaker of the House John Boehner’s is far more violent.

Regarding our important economic relationship with Mexico, the presentation highlighted the tight economic bond between the our countries:

Mexico and the United States trade more than $1 billion worth of goods each day ($393 billion in 2010). Mexico spent $163 billion on U.S. goods in 2010, including $14 billion on agricultural products. NAFTA-related trade with Mexico has added 1.7 million jobs to the U.S. economy. Twenty-six U.S. states had exports to Mexico in excess of $1 billion in 2010.