Border Mayors Featured on NPR's Weekend Edition Talking Immigration Reform

Recently NDN/New Policy Institute was proud to host the latest in a series of events on the U.S.-Mexico relationship and developments in our border region.

This event, titled “Perspectives from the U.S.-Mexico Border Region, featured a panel of key mayors from the region and focused on opportunities and challenges unique to the border region. For those who missed the event, you can watch CSPAN’s live recording here.

We are happy to report that two of the mayors at our event have been featured on NPR's Weekend Edition talking about the soutwest border region and immigration reform. Excerpts on the conversation between NPR's Rachel Martin, John Cook the Mayor of El Paso, Texas and Raul Salinas, the Mayor of Laredo Texas on border security below:

MARTIN: If you don't mind me just interjecting there. Both President Obama plan and the Senate bipartisan plan, both require that the border, quote, "be secured," before anything else can happen, before any other reforms can happen. So clearly there is this perception - in the White House and on Capitol Hill - that the border isn't secured. So...

COOK: I would disagree with that, and here's why. President Obama is trying to pacify the Republicans that would say that the border is not secure right now. But if border security is the very first step that has to happen, if it's a trigger that triggers a comprehensive immigration reform, then somebody's going to have to define it.

Do you define it by the number of people that are caught trying to cross the border? If you're catching them then the border is secure.

SALINAS: Well, Mayor Cook, I think that one thing that needs to be pointed out that illegal immigration has gone down. The enforcement along the border, the surveillance along the border has been very effective. I think that this is a politically-motivated issue. I mean, obviously. But, you know, the reality is that no longer can 11 or 12 million people live in the shadows. And we have people that behaved themselves and contribute to the American dream. What isn't some of the legislators don't understand?