Upcoming Conference! Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border

May 19, 2015

Border - Roadsign pointing between Nogales, mexico and TucsonWHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 8:00am-4:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

RSVP HERE.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Border Trade Alliance, and the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos invite you to our second annual high-level “Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border” conference this year, focusing on improving border management in order to strengthen the competitiveness of both the United States and Mexico. Specific emphasis will be put on border and transportation infrastructure, growth in the energy sector, innovation, and the need for efforts that simultaneously support security and efficiency in border management.

Confirmed Speakers (Additional speakers will be added to the program):

  • Senator John Cornyn (TX), Majority Whip, United States Senate
  • Ambassador Alejandro Estivill, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Mexico
  • Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
  • Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23)
  • Geronimo Gutierrez, Director, North American Development Bank
  • Omar Garcia, President & CEO, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable
  • Jose Martin Garcia, Representative of the Mexican Treasury and Tax Administration Service in Washington, DC
  • Ricardo Alvarez, Professor, CETYS University, Baja California
  • Jesse Hereford, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance, Director of Business Development, S&B Infrastructure
  • Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center
  • Christopher Wilson, Senior Associate, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here for more information.

*A live webcast will be available.


U.S.-born students in Mexico risk becoming ‘lost generation’

March 10, 2015

03/09/15 Los Angeles Times 

immigrant mother and boyEmmanuel Vargas was 13 and just starting eighth grade in Davenport, Iowa, when his father was detained in a workplace immigration raid and deported back to Mexico. His parents decided they should stick together, and the whole family, including Emmanuel and his 15-year-old sister, both born in Iowa, moved to Leon, in the central state of Guanajuato. It was a culture shock for the full-fledged American teenagers, who spoke fluent English and broken Spanish. Their parents assured them that things would get easier once they enrolled in school and made new friends. But with one bureaucratic delay after another, it took a full year for the Mexican school to process their enrollment.

Read More…


Latest Border Stats Point to Heavy Child, Family Migration in 2015

February 12, 2015

2/11/2015 Washington Office on Latin America

Border - MexicoA wave of Central American children and families, many fleeing violence in their home countries, received heavy media attention in the summer of 2014. Then, the wave receded quickly: by August 2014, the U.S. Border Patrol was apprehending fewer unaccompanied Central American children than it was in August 2013. The humanitarian crisis disappeared from the headlines.

The crisis is not over. If current trends continue, child and family apprehensions in 2015 will fall behind 2014, but still exceed 2013 and every other year on record.

Read more…


How to Boost Border Competitiveness? Just Ask the Folks There.

February 10, 2015

2/10/2015 Forbes.com

By Christopher Wilson and Erik Lee

border coverFor years, the United States’ southern border with Mexico has provoked a range of fears, from terrorism and drugs to overwhelming numbers of unauthorized immigrants, prompting a security-first and often security-only approach to border management. Fear-based rhetoric may resonate in the echo chambers of Washington DC, but it feels wholly out of touch to most (though not all) residents of border communities.

Thankfully, with U.S.-Mexico trade at historic highs and growing faster than trade with any other major trading partner, it is increasingly difficult to ignore the importance of safe and efficient border management to the regional economy. U.S.-Mexico trade is now valued at well over a half trillion dollars per year, 80 percent of which crosses the U.S.-Mexico land border. This trade supports around six million U.S. jobs, and systems of co-production in manufacturing allow companies to combine the comparative advantages of the United States and Mexico, boosting the competitiveness of North America as a whole.

These trends are leading some political leaders to the realization that many in the border region have known for years: the border itself creates a lot of economic opportunity for both nations. And these folks in the border region—popularly imagined to be barely hanging on in a hail of gunfire, even on the sleepy U.S. side—are careful observers of what works and what does not work in terms of trade and economic development. Knowing this, we joined several other organizations in a year-long deep dive into the inner workings of the U.S.-Mexico border economy. But then even we were surprised by the sheer number, variety and magnitude of ideas emanating from this enormous, misunderstood and underappreciated region.

Read more…


Report Sees Border Opportunities

February 4, 2015

2/3/2015 U-T San Diego

border coverRich in potential, the U.S.-Mexico border’s economic future can be strengthened through measures such as educational exchanges, renewable energy clusters, binational planning efforts, and improved connections among economic development groups on both sides of the border, according to a report released Tuesday.

The U.S.-Mexico Border Economy in Transition” focuses on the opportunities and challenges that face border communities in both countries. For all their differences, these communities face many common needs, the report states, chief among them the need for more fluid border crossings.

The 141-page report resulted from a collaboration among the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C., the North American Research Partnership, the Border Legislative Conference and the Council of State Governments-West. Many of the recommendations incorporate issues raised during four regional competitiveness forums conducted last year in San Diego; Rio Rico, Ariz.; and Laredo and El Paso, Texas.

Read more…

Download the report here.


NEW REPORT: The U.S.-Mexico Border Economy in Transition

February 3, 2015

Edited by Erik Lee and Christopher Wilson

border coverThe Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, the North American Research Partnership and the Border Legislative Conference, a program of the Council of State Governments West, are pleased to share with you this comprehensive report with recommendations aimed at strengthening the economic competitiveness of the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Throughout 2014, our coalition of organizations held a series of four U.S.-Mexico Regional Economic Competitiveness Forums in order to engage border region stakeholders in a process to collectively generate a shared vision and policy recommendations to strengthen economic competitiveness.

This report lays out the major issues involved in border region economic development, compiles the many innovative ideas developed at the forums, and weaves them into a series of policy recommendations that draw on the experiences of those who understand the border best: the individuals who live in border communities and who cross back and forth between Mexico and the United States as a part of their daily lives.

Download the report here.


EVENT TOMORROW: Representing the U.S.-Mexico Border: Congressmen Cuellar, O’Rourke, and Vargas

February 2, 2015

Border - Roadsign pointing between Nogales, mexico and TucsonWHEN: TOMORROW, Tuesday, February 3rd, 9-11am

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Click here to RSVP.

The Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to the launch event for our latest report, The Border Economy in Transition. At the event, three members of Congress representing districts on the U.S.-Mexico border will discuss the challenges they face in overcoming misperceptions about the border in order to promote the economic competitiveness of the region. In addition to the members of the U.S. House of Representatives, we are delighted to host Acting Assistant Administrator for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau of USAID, Elizabeth Hogan; Chair of the Border Legislative Conference and member of the Nuevo León State Legislature, Imelda Guadalupe Alejandro de la Garza; Antonio Ortiz Mena, Head of Section for Economic Affairs at the Mexican Embassy; and Sue Saarnio, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State. The report will be presented by authors Christopher Wilson, Senior Associate at the Mexico Institute, and Erik Lee, Executive Director of the North American Research Partnership, as well as Edgar Ruiz, Executive Director of the Council of State Governments-West.

The report lays out the major issues involved in border region economic development and presents 27 policy recommendations to create a more competitive border region. The innovative policy ideas were developed by stakeholders at the series of four Regional Economic Competitiveness Forums held along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014.

*A live webcast will be available. For more information, click here.


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