NDN Backgrounder - Ahead Of President Calderon's Visit A Critical Look at the 21st Century Border Initiative

Next week President of Mexico Felipe Calderon will be in Washington D.C. next week to receive an award for hemispheric leadership from the U.S. Mexico Chamber of commerce.  Before President Calderon gets here we would like to take the time to reflect on how successful the 21st Century Border Strategy has been.

Any reasonable look at the data from the past several years makes clear that the new joint Mexican-US strategy towards the common border region is working.  Deportations of criminal immigrants, southbound seizures of bulk cash and illegal guns are way up. 

The number of illegal migrants crossing the border, the number of undocumented immigrants in the US, crime rates all along the US side of the border are all down.  By some measures cities like El Paso and San Diego are some of the safest big cities in America today. 

While the violence on the Mexican side of the border is still at unacceptable levels, there has been no measurable spillover of the cartel violence into the United States.  So while the things we don't want happening along the US side of the border are decreasing, the things we do want - trade and legal traffic of people - are increasing. 

Below please find some of our recent work on the 21st Century Border:

Realizing the Full Value of Tourism from Mexico to the United States NPI is proud of our report which argues that as the United States looks to increase domestic tourism, increasing tourism from Mexico should be a major priority for our new national strategy.  Please read the full report here

This major report has generated significant press. Please watch 21st Century Border Policy Director Kristian Ramos on Fox News Business Live talking about the importance of Mexican tourism for the Southwest and the United States. Erik Lee, Deputy Director of the North American Center for Transborder Studies and co-writer of the report was a guest on KJZZ FM talking about the contents of the report

Realizing the Value of Cross Border Trade with Mexico” – The New Policy Institute paper explores the important and growing economic relation ship between the United States and Mexico.  Among the paper’s more interesting findings is that, remarkably, 22 states now count Mexico as their first or second largest export market, including our two biggest states, California and Texas. 

For those interested in learning more see this video of our event in DC discussing the paper with Michael C. Camunez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance. You can also see a video of the primary authors of the paper, Rick Van Schoik and Erik Lee of Arizona State University’s North American Center for Trans-border Studies, discussing the paper in depth here.   A new Spanish language version of the paper is available here.

Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan and Commissioner Alan Bersin: A Conversation on a "21st Century Border” 5/24/2010                                                                                                                                            

NDN/NPI was proud to host Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan and Chairman of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Alan Bersin as they had a discussion on the merits of the just announced 21st Century Border Initiative.

The 21st Century Border: A Declaration of Cooperation Between The United States and Mexico On The Border 5/20/2010
The Declaration of the 21st Century Border Initiative is a memorandum agreement between the United States and Mexico which pledged both countries to strengthen cooperation along the southwest border. This memorandum is integral in understanding the positive steps made in creating a safer border. In this document, both countries outline ways in which they can create a more harmonious region for the economic benefit of the region.