Texas Gov. Abbott to Visit Mexico to Mend Fences, Talk Trade Amid Strained Ties

8/25/2015 The Dallas Morning News

Greg_Abbott_by_Gage_SkidmoreGov. Greg Abbott is expected to visit Mexico City on Labor Day weekend, his first trip abroad as governor, and will lead a delegation of Texans eager to move forward amid turbulent times between once-solid neighbors, The Dallas Morning News has learned.

The agenda is still being fleshed out for the first trip to Mexico by a Texas governor since 2007, but people familiar with the matter say the visit is aimed at mending fences and underscoring the economic, cultural and political integration between Texas and its southern neighbor, an important trading partner.

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Runners race from El Paso to Mexico to show thriving border

08/11/15 WFAA

El Paso and Juarez by Flickr user dherrera 96EL PASO — Hundreds of Texans crossed the border into Mexico in a historic race that organizers hope will redefine the image of the border as a thriving community, rather than a region crippled by crisis.

“The border is a place of incredible beauty and also strength for our two countries,” said U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso.

‘It’s what has made the U.S. so successful. It is what has made Mexico so successful,” said O’Rourke.

Congressman O’Rourke was among the 929 runners who laced up their shoes and jogged into Mexico.

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Immigration Reform 2015: Tijuana, Mexico Border Security To Be Tightened Over Pedestrian Foot Traffic

7/20/15 International Business Times

border_at_tijuana-tomas-castelazo2Mexican immigration officials will be stepping up their inspections of foreigners entering the country on foot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. A new building for Mexican immigration and customs inspection stations is scheduled to open at the Tijuana pedestrian entry in September.

Officials are expected to require foreigners entering Tijuana from San Ysidro, California, to show travel documentation if entering Mexico by foot. Authorities plan to create two pedestrian lanes for those entering Mexico: one for foreigners and one for Mexican citizens.

“Our intention is not to create congestion at the border,” said Rodulfo Figueroa, head of Mexico’s National Migrant Institute in the Mexican state of Baja California, the Union-Tribune reported. “Our intention is to try different strategies to process as many people as we can within a reasonable time frame.”

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Mexico to step up pedestrian border inspections

07/20/15 San Diego Union-Tribune

— Mexican immigration officials are preparing to ramp up inspections of U.S. citizens and other foreigners entering the country on foot, requiring those crossing from San Ysidro to show travel documents such as a U.S. passport or passport card.  The head of Mexico’s National Migration Institute in Baja California, Rodulfo Figueroa, said that the new push will begin by September with the expected opening of a new building housing Mexican immigration and customs inspections stations at the Tijuana pedestrian entry. Figueroa said that the measures will be enforced gradually, and inspectors will be sensitive to the flow of people entering the country.  “We will do everything we can to make the transition as seamless as possible,” Figueroa said. “People should not be panicking about this. We’re not going to create a four-hour southbound wait.

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Most US-Mexico Border Smugglers Are U.S. Citizens, Paper Finds

07/20/15 Huffington Post

human trafficking by Flikr user Brett JordanPITTSBURGH (AP) — The smuggling of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border relies heavily on American labor, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review found in an eight-month investigation that paints a portrait of the network of smugglers known as “coyotes.”

Three out of every five convicted smugglers are U.S. citizens, according to an analysis by the newspaper of 3,254 federal trafficking convictions during 2013 and 2014 in federal courts in the southern stretches of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

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

WHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 8:00am-4:15pm

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, the 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. Speakers will discuss the state of the art in border and transportation infrastructure, growth in the energy sector, border-region innovation, and the need for efforts that simultaneously support security and efficiency in border management.

There will be a live webcast of this event.

Agenda

8:00 – 8:30am Registration 

8:35 – 8:45am  Welcome, Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

8:45 – 9:35am   Legislative Opportunities to Strengthen Border Competitiveness
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23)
Senator Ernesto Ruffo Appel, Presidente de la Comisión de Asuntos Fronterizos Norte
Moderator: Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member and Former Mexican Ambassador to the United States

9:35 – 10:15am  Keynote, Senator John Cornyn (TX), Majority Whip, United States Senate
                         Introduction, Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President, Wilson Center

10:30 – 12:00pm  Building Tomorrow’s Border Today: The State of the Art in Infrastructure Financing, Customs, and Port of Entry Management
Geronimo Gutierrez, Director, North American Development Bank
Jesse Hereford, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance, Director of Business Development, S&B Infrastructure
Jose Martin Garcia, Representative for the Mexican Treasury and Tax Administration Service in Washington, DC
Moderator: Erik Lee, Executive Director, North American Research Partnership

12:00 – 12:25pm  Keynote, Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection (Confirmed)
     Introduction: TBA

12:25 – 1:30pm Lunch: Crossborder Cooperation for a Competitive North America
Opening Remarks: Michael Camuñez, President and CEO, ManattJones Global Strategies, Board Member, Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos
Keynote Address: Ildefonso Guajardo, Secretary of Economy (Invited)

1:30 – 2:15pm Energy Revolutions: How Natural Gas and Renewables are Changing the Border Energy Landscape
Omar Garcia, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable
Thomas Tunstall, Research Director, Institute for Economic Development, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Moderator and Comments on Renewable Energy: Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

2:15 – 2:35pm Break

2:35 – 3:25pm Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Building Ideas, Human Capital, and New Businesses in the Border Region
Rachel Poynter, Acting Director, Office of Mexican Affairs, Department of State
Ricardo Alvarez, Professor, CETYS University, Baja California
Rogelio de los Santos, Managing Director, Alta Ventures Mexico (Invited)
Moderator: Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

3:25 – 4:00pm A Conversation on the Evolution of U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Border Management
Ambassador Alejandro Estivill, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Mexico
Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Department of Homeland Security
Moderator: Denise Ducheny, Center for US-Mexico Studies, UC San Diego, and member, BECC NADB Board of Directors

4:00 – 4:15pm Concluding Remarks
Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos
Border Trade Alliance
Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

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

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.