At NDN, Mexican Ambassador Medina Mora, Meissner, Alden Talk US-Mexico, Border, Immigration Reform

With the President announcing a May trip to Mexico, members of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” taking a constructive trip to the border, and the Senate set to announce their bi-partisan immigration legislation, please take a moment to watch our timely event on U.S.- Mexico relations, our southwest border and immigration.

This event contextualized many of the issues at the heart of the coming immigration debate and featured Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, Mexican Ambassador to the United States with respondents: Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director of the US Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute, and Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, The Council of Foreign Relations. Nelson Cunningham, President and co-founder of McClarty Associates, and former special advisor to President Clinton moderated the discussion.

NDN President Simon Rosenberg opened the event by noting:"Because of an increased investment, a better strategy, better cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico, perhaps unprecedented cooperation between our two countries, our border is safer on the U.S. side, our immigration system is better, and Mexico itself is modernizing and growing.

Ambassador Medina-Mora in his key note speech highlighted the deep connections between our two countries. by commenting: Migration between Mexico and the United States is in constant tranformation but the pace of change has been faster and more dramatic in the last twenty years. In that time span we have seen both an exponential growth of Mexican immigration to this country in the 90's and a significant slow down that has reached almost a zero net balance in 2010 according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Doris Meissner's response to the Ambassadors key note contextualized exactly how long it has taken to get the U.S. Mexico border to where it is today: Borders that work is another key idea to the coming immigration debate. Borders are designed both to prevent illegal entry but also to facilitate legal entry of both people and goods. Borders are part of both countries prosperity well being and we needed to make them both be more effective and more functional.

The final responded was Edward Alden, who talked about metrics for border security are still a key component of measuring progress in the region. "In 1965 the U.S created the architecture of the modern immigration system, in 1986 the Congress tried to solve what was then the growing problem of illegal immigration, this bill is an effort to do both. To rewrite our immigration system for the future, and to estsblish rules for controlling in an ongoing basis illegal immigration.

This is just a snap shot of the many converations that took place at our event please watch the full video presentation here. This is just the latest in a series of events we are putting on ahead of the release of Congressional immigration legislation. Simon delivered his new presentation titled "Immigration Reform: How The Landscape Has Changed" This original work tells how immigration, the safety along the border, and the complex economic relationship between the U.S. and Mexico have improved since 2004. Check out the power point here.

Also be sure to check out this web video presentation which took a deep look at how Mexico is modernizing and growing. NPI Policy Director Kristian Ramos hosted this live web video briefing, “Understanding Modern Mexico,” with former Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan and noted Mexican economist and author, Jorge Suarez-Velez.  To watch this video briefing please click here.

For background on the event be sure to read Simon’s recent Huffington Post Op-ed, “The Border is Safer, Our Immigration System is Better;” Kristian's just released op-ed "Want To Make The Border Safer? Pass Gun Violence Legislation." see our round-up of our most important work on these issues; and stay in touch with us via our website