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.


With help from Mexico, number of child migrants crossing U.S. border falls

April 29, 2015

Pew Research Center, 4/28/2015

mexican-flag1The Mexican government has deported a record number of Central American children traveling without a guardian since last fall, which President Obama and other U.S. officials say has contributed to a significant drop in children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexico’s 3,819 deportations of unaccompanied minors from Central America during the first five months of the fiscal year represent a 56% increase over the same period a year earlier, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Mexican and U.S. government data. The stepped up security was a result of a plan by Mexican officials to address the record surge in child migrants last year.

Read more…


New Publication: Renewable Energy in Mexico’s Northern Border Region

April 28, 2015

Renewable EnergyHeavy reliance on fossil fuels is a common theme across the Mexican Northern Border States with the notable exception of Baja California (which gets over 30% of its public service electricity from the Cerro Prieto geothermal plant). Despite abundant wind, solar and bioenergy resources, Northern Mexico has yet to fully embrace the energytransition, but this could rapidly change in the next few years.

Mexico’s recent Energy Reform, which included modifications to the Constitution in December 2013 and a comprehensive package of implementing legislation on August of 2014, represents a fundamental transformation of the sector. For renewable energy, the major opportunities are related to the creation of a new electricity market and the introduction of Clean Energy Certificates. In the new market, the National Center for Electricity Control
and Dispatch (CENACE) will be fully independent of Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), thus allowing for a more transparent wholesale electricity market in which users above a set consumption threshold will be allowed to freely switch between generators. Mexico has already committed to produce 35% of its electricity from clean sources by 2024.

This publication “Renewable Energy in Mexico’s Northern Border Region” analyzes the current renewable energy situation in the north of the country, discusses potential resources that could be used for electricity generation from renewable sources, and provides policy recommendations to increase the use of renewables in the energy sector and to achieve long-term energy sustainability.

Download the publication here. 


In Mexico, Deported Migrants Get Due Respect at El Comedor

February 20, 2015

By Kevin Baxter, 2/20/2015

mexican-flag1The 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.

Read more…


Fears of Measles Crossing Southern Border into U.S. are Unfounded

February 18, 2015

By Michael Muskal and Samantha Masunaga, 2/17/2015

Photo by Flikr user Gov/BaConservative 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.

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…


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