February 20, 2015
By Kevin Baxter, 2/20/2015
The migrants begin gathering just after daybreak.
Women with young children in tow, men in wool caps and faded hoodies. Others still wearing the bright orange uniforms they were issued in prison.
Few speak. Most look down at their feet.
Hours earlier they had been on the other side of the border, where they had been living illegally in the United States. But now, after their deportation to Mexico, they’re lining up outside El Comedor — the dining room — in search of food, clothing and help.
February 18, 2015
By Michael Muskal and Samantha Masunaga, 2/17/2015
Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and others have blamed the current measles outbreak on children illegally crossing the southern border of the U.S.
“Children sick, healthy, you name it — poor, ill-educated, just tens of thousands of kids flooded the southern border all of last year,” he said. “They were never examined before they got here. They were never examined after they got here and quarantined if they had a disease. They were just sent out across the country. Many of them had measles.”
While there are many serious diseases that have moved north to the United States from Mexico and Central America, measles is not one of them.
February 12, 2015
2/11/2015 Washington Office on Latin America
A 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.
February 10, 2015
By Christopher Wilson and Erik Lee
For 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.
February 4, 2015
2/3/2015 U-T San Diego
Rich 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.
Download the report here.
February 3, 2015
The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute has released a new report, “The U.S.-Mexico Border economy in Transition.” The report provides insight into day to day life and commerce along the border, and provides a series of recommendations to strengthen competitiveness. We spoke with Mexico Institute Senior Associate, Chris Wilson, to learn more about both the unique process behind the report and also about some of the best ideas emerging from the year-long project. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
February 3, 2015
Edited by Erik Lee and Christopher Wilson
The 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.