For those who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially in large cities, the relationship between the two countries is different than for those who live elsewhere in the U.S. It’s difficult for those outside this area to understand, because despite the line that legally separates the two countries, the people both north and south of it, are neighbors. They depend on each other for economic vibrancy, personal relationships and cultural attachment. In spite of the backlash against illegal immigration and the fear of out-of-control drug violence along the Mexican side of the border, border cities in the U.S. have a unique relationship with their neighbor to the south.
Recently, San Diego’s Mayor Bob Filner looked across the border to Tijuana as a new business partner. For him, as for most of the politicians in the San Diego area, it’s not about “us versus them.” It’s about all of us. Together. According to a recent New York Times article, Filner has opened a satellite office in Tijuana. He also says he plans to place a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics to be hosted jointly with Tijuana. When either Filner or the Mayor of Tijuana, Carlos Bustamante, refer to the area, they speak of us—not of “us and them.”