Arizona Daily Star border reporter Perla Trevizo had a longish article from this past Sunday’s paper on how ports of entry fit in–or don’t fit in–to the current immigration debate. I commented for the article on this issue that is particularly critical for border communities and for the U.S. and Mexican economies more generally. Long story short, our 47 ports of entry on our shared border with Mexico are critical “membranes” that must do double-duty by providing both security and trade facilitation with Mexico (our third most important trading partner in the world), but they generally receive scant attention from policymakers and the public. Chris Wilson and I wrote on this issue in our trade chapter for the State of the Border Report. In addition, NARP is working on an ongoing initiative called “Realizing the Strategic National Value of Our Trade, Tourism and Ports of Entry with Mexico” with DC think tank NPI, and if you need an overview of the issue you can read the latest report for this initiative here.
Just an excellent event yesterday in San Diego at the U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership. Our launch and the presentation of the State of the Border Report were attended by over 70 people, and the feedback we received from the Mexican and Canadian Consulates and the stakeholders in the room on the report was very, very high quality. Indeed, the San Diego/Tijuana region stands out for its large, sophisticated group of binational stakeholders in numerous issue areas. Mexican Consul General María de los Remedios Gómez Arnau specifically mentioned the Cali-Baja Megaregion Initiative as an economic development model worthy of analysis in our next State of the Border Report. In addition, we think it is often a good idea to include perspectives on the U.S.-Canada bilateral relationship when talking about the U.S.-Mexico border. So Canadian Consul and Trade Commissioner Lisa Stockley’s comments on the enormous U.S.-Canada bilateral economic relationship were particularly on point for the report, which emphasizes the sheer enormity of the U.S.-Mexico economic relationship, now at over a half trillion dollars a year.
Suggestions from the group for additions to future iterations of the report include a closer look at border deaths; a larger North American frame; a close look at health issues that affect the border region; a discussion of data differences between U.S. and Mexico; an analysis of border innovation clusters; and a look at border region newcomers and efforts to integrate these newcomers.
Good morning all. It is a gorgeous midsummer morning here in San Diego, and we have a capacity crowd registered for this afternoon’s presentation of the State of the Border Report and the formal launch of the North American Research Partnership at the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement in beautiful Liberty Station. We look forward to an engaging discussion with the numerous San Diego/Tijuana area border stakeholders who will be in attendance. Today’s presentation of the State of the Border Report follows two previous presentations in Washington, DC (May 23) and Mexico City (June 8).
We’ll check back in later with a recap of today’s discussion.