21st Century Border Initiative

In April of 2010 the governments of Mexico and the United States issued a Declaration of the 21st Century Border. This declaration stated an understanding that: ‘’a joint and collaborative administration of their common border is critical to transforming management of the border to enhance security and efficiency.’’

The 21st Century Border Initiative of NDN/NPI has been designed to support, promote and develop this important vision for how our two countries manage our common border region. We have done this by facilitating events, papers, essays and creating a network of like minded individuals both inside and outside the beltway.

It is the core belief of this initiative that the bi-lateral relationship between the United States and Mexico is one of the United State’s most important relationships in the world. By the end of this year Mexico is set to be the United State’s second largest trading partner with more than a billion dollars in goods a day moving between our countries. The US domestic population is now 10 percent of Mexican descent, making our cultural, economic and familial ties extensive and deepening.

Through a new and better strategy, more resources and greater cooperation with our Mexican partners, the border region is much safer today. Crime is down, illegal migration has slowed, seizures of illegal drugs, guns and bulk cash has soared, all while trade and legal border crossings have increased. Despite the very real challenge of the cartel violence, the US side of the border has seen great progress in recent years. And while there has been great success in recent years in bringing about a better border region, of course much more must be done.

Below, please find some key materials and highlights from our past work on the 21st Century Border Initiative. 

NDN Backgrounder: The Border Is Safer, Immigration System Is Better For a history of our work and salient news from the current immigration debate check out our website, 21border.com. Below please find a collection of NDN resources on the release of the Senate and White House immigration proposals:

Simon's Statement - The U.S. Border Strategy Is Working

Simon outlines how the U.S. border strategy is working: Crime along the border is down,deportations of criminal aliens has increased, the flow of unauthorized immigrants has dropped as has the domestic population of undocumented immigrants in the United States.   There has been little to no spillover from the gang-related violence in Mexico into the United States, and seizures of narcotics into the country and bulk cash leaving the country have increased.As a result of this new and deeper partnership between our countries the American side of our common border is clearly safer today. 

President Barack Obama: Building A 21st Century Immigration System

In this speech, President Obama forcefully articulates the progress made in creating a 21st Century Border and connects it back to the broader struggle to reform our nations broken immigration system.

Video: Building a 21st Century Immigration System

Transcript: Remarks by the President on Comprehensive Immigration Reform in El Paso, Texas

NDN/NPI's 21st Century Border You Tube Page

For months, members of NDN/NPI's 21st Century Border Initiative have been busy cultivating a network of stakeholders throughout the Southwest and capturing their thoughts about the state of the U.S. - Mexican border region. You can watch them and other content on our new You Tube page.

Arturo Sarukhan & Alan Bersin Address on a 21st Century Border

Our inaugural 21st Century Border Project event was held over a year ago, and featured CPB Commissioner Alan Bersin and the Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan discussing the merits of the United States and Mexico working together to create a true 21st century border.

Video: Arturo Sarukhan & Alan Bersin Address NDN/NPI on a 21st Century Border

Transcript: Arturo Sarukhan & Alan Bersin Address NDN/NPI on a 21st Century Border

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Progress Made Along U.S. Mexican Border

NDN/NPI hosted a key note speech from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano where she outlined the positive progress made along the Southwest Border.

Video: Napolitano Speech Details Progress Made Along US-Mexican Border

Department of Homeland Security Panel Discuss Progress on 21st Century Border

A panel of senior DHS officials discuss progress made along the 21st Century Border.

Video:  Distinguished Panel Discuss Progress on 21st Century Border

A Mayor's Perspective on the U.S. - Mexico Border

Chappell Lawson, associate professor of politics at MIT and Mayor of Nogales, AZ Arturo Garino talk about the perception, the reality and the positive gains in safety along the southwest border. 

How a 21st Century Border is Essential to Prosperity in Both the U.S. and Mexico

Maria Luisa O’Connell, Senior Advisor for Trade and Public Relations Office of the Commissioner US Customs and Border Protection, led a roundtable panel discussion on how the border between Mexico and the United States is an economic benefit for the country as whole

NDN Report: The Governments Strategy on The Border Is Working

After years of investment by the federal government along the border between the United States and Mexico there has been significant progress in creating a more harmonious region.

Key Materials:

21st Century Border Declaration by The Government Of The United States and Mexico  -  This intermestic agreement pledges to strengthen cooperation between Mexico and the United States by enhancing the economic competitiveness by expediting lawful trade, while preventing the transit of illegal merchandise between their two countries, facilitating lawful travel in a manner that also prevents the illegal movement of people between our two countries.

Comexi Report Managing the United States-Mexico Border: Cooperative Solutions to Common Challenges:  Under the auspices of the Pacific Council for International Policy (PCIP) and the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), thirty distinguished businessmen, civic leaders, and former government officials from Mexico and the United States committed themselves to devising ways to improve management of our common border.

Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano: Making The Border More Secure":  This landmark speech by Secretary Napolitano encapsulates all of the work the Department of Homeland Security and Mexico have done on the border while also charting a path forward on what the future of the Border looks like. University of Texas at El Paso A Safe on: Secure Border Zone, Additional Steps and Reforms,  Southwest Border Results, Interior Enforcement and the Future of Border Security.


Simon Rosenberg: President, NDN/NPI

Alicia Menendez: Senior Advisor, NDN/NPI

Jake Braun: Director, 21st Century Border Initiative

Kristian Ramos: Director of Policy, 21st Century Border Initiative


For all press inquiries please contact Kristian Ramos at kramos@ndn.org

For all booking inquiries please contact Alicia Menendez at alicia@ndn.org

U.S. Mexico Border Mayors Association Writes Letter to White House On Tourism and Border Infrastructure

NDN and The New Policy Institute is proud of our report, “Realizing the Full Value of Tourism from Mexico to the United States,” which came just in time to help inform a recent Presidential executive order designed to significantly increase travel and tourism in the United States.

As part of this executive order the Department of Interior and Commerce turned in recommendations on how to increase tourism into the United States. Below please find a letter written by the United States – Mexico Border Association urging the White House to include Mexico, the Southwest and increased border infrastructure spending in the new tourism plan.

Please click the link for the full letter:  U.S. Mexico Border Mayors Letter To White House

Daily Border Bulletin - Will Right Wing Let Mitt Romney `Pivot’ On Immigration?, Binational Group Works On Border Issues, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Stories featured in your Border Bulletin are as follows:

Will the right wing really let Mitt Romney `pivot’ on immigration? After a wave of polling data indicated that Mitt Romney was poisoning his chances at making in roads with Hispanic voters he has begun to moderate his stance on issues important to this group. The real question is will right wing conservatives let him.

Binational Group Seeks to Make U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing Easier  Representatives from local governments in the United States and Mexico are working together to make crossing their shared border easier.

House Republicans back Homeland Security powers in border parks House Republicans are pushing legislation through congress which would allow the Border Patrol to control 50 national parks and forests.

Daily Border Bulletin - Drawbacks Seen With Having National Guardsmen on Border, Latinos Deeply Divided Over Marco Rubio, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Stories from your Border Bulletin are as follows:

Drawbacks Seen With Having National Guardsmen on Border ​ A new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office highlights some of the drawbacks of having the National Guard on the Southwest Border.

Latinos Deeply Divided Over Marco Rubio: As the Republican party continues to try to soften their harsh rhetoric to the Hispanic community Florida Senator Marco Rubio continues to be mentioned as a Vice Presidential candidate. However Hispanics are raising questions about what he would actually bring to the ticket.

Romney's immigration stance may soften to appeal to Latino voters: After a series of blistering polls revealed deep fissures between the Republican Part and Hispanics Mitt Romney is seeking to soften his stance on many issues important to Hispanics.

NDN Backgrounder - Ahead Of President Calderon's Visit A Critical Look at the 21st Century Border Initiative

Next week President of Mexico Felipe Calderon will be in Washington D.C. next week to receive an award for hemispheric leadership from the U.S. Mexico Chamber of commerce.  Before President Calderon gets here we would like to take the time to reflect on how successful the 21st Century Border Strategy has been.

Any reasonable look at the data from the past several years makes clear that the new joint Mexican-US strategy towards the common border region is working.  Deportations of criminal immigrants, southbound seizures of bulk cash and illegal guns are way up. 

The number of illegal migrants crossing the border, the number of undocumented immigrants in the US, crime rates all along the US side of the border are all down.  By some measures cities like El Paso and San Diego are some of the safest big cities in America today. 

While the violence on the Mexican side of the border is still at unacceptable levels, there has been no measurable spillover of the cartel violence into the United States.  So while the things we don't want happening along the US side of the border are decreasing, the things we do want - trade and legal traffic of people - are increasing. 

Below please find some of our recent work on the 21st Century Border:

Realizing the Full Value of Tourism from Mexico to the United States NPI is proud of our report which argues that as the United States looks to increase domestic tourism, increasing tourism from Mexico should be a major priority for our new national strategy.  Please read the full report here

This major report has generated significant press. Please watch 21st Century Border Policy Director Kristian Ramos on Fox News Business Live talking about the importance of Mexican tourism for the Southwest and the United States. Erik Lee, Deputy Director of the North American Center for Transborder Studies and co-writer of the report was a guest on KJZZ FM talking about the contents of the report

Realizing the Value of Cross Border Trade with Mexico” – The New Policy Institute paper explores the important and growing economic relation ship between the United States and Mexico.  Among the paper’s more interesting findings is that, remarkably, 22 states now count Mexico as their first or second largest export market, including our two biggest states, California and Texas. 

For those interested in learning more see this video of our event in DC discussing the paper with Michael C. Camunez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance. You can also see a video of the primary authors of the paper, Rick Van Schoik and Erik Lee of Arizona State University’s North American Center for Trans-border Studies, discussing the paper in depth here.   A new Spanish language version of the paper is available here.

Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan and Commissioner Alan Bersin: A Conversation on a "21st Century Border” 5/24/2010                                                                                                                                            

NDN/NPI was proud to host Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan and Chairman of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Alan Bersin as they had a discussion on the merits of the just announced 21st Century Border Initiative.

The 21st Century Border: A Declaration of Cooperation Between The United States and Mexico On The Border 5/20/2010
The Declaration of the 21st Century Border Initiative is a memorandum agreement between the United States and Mexico which pledged both countries to strengthen cooperation along the southwest border. This memorandum is integral in understanding the positive steps made in creating a safer border. In this document, both countries outline ways in which they can create a more harmonious region for the economic benefit of the region.

Daily Border Bulletin - Immigrant Tax Contributions and the Future of the U.S. Economy, Alabama Digs A Deeper Hole, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Stories fetured in your border bulletin include the following:

Immigrant Tax Contributions and the Future of the U.S. Economy  ​A new report highlights the important tax contributions of undocumented immigrants.

Alabama Digs A Deeper Hole ​ A New York Times editorial highlights the various problems with the proposed "fixes" to Alabama's draconian state passed immigration laws. 

Undoc Seeks Admission to Florida Bar An immigrant brought to the United States as a child, was a valedictorian of his high-school and has completed law school, is now attempting to be accepted to the Florida Bar so he can practice law.

In The News Talking About NPI/NACTS Report - Realizing the Full Value of Tourism from Mexico to the United States

NDN/NPI is proud of the report Realizing the Full Value of Tourism from Mexico to the United States. This major report has generated significant press. Below please find my Fox News Business Live appearance talking about the report.

Below that please find Erik Lee, Deputy Director of the North American Center for Transborder Studies and co-writer of the report talking on KJZZ FM talking about the importance of tourism to the southwest region.


Report: Focus on border security has cost U.S. tourism dollars

The United States is missing out on tremendous untapped potential among Mexican tourists. That’s one of the findings of a recent study conducted by the North American Center for Transborder Studies at Arizona State University. KJZZ’s Al Macias reports.

AL MACIAS: The report says the recession, lengthy visa application requirements and a focus on border security have cost the U.S. The study says there is a latent demand for travel to the U.S. by Mexicans. In 2010 Mexican tourists spent $8.7 billion in the United States. Erik Lee is one of the authors of the study. He says 85 percent of the 13.5 million legal Mexican tourists who entered the United States last year came through land entries.

ERIK LEE: The major beneficiaries of that cross border flow of tourists are cities like El Paso, Nogales, Tucson, San Diego. Obviously the closer to the border that a city is, the better to benefit from that tourism flow.

AL MACIAS: The study acknowledges the need for maintaining border security but says those efforts should not prevent law-abiding tourists from visiting the United States.

To listen to the full interview please click here

Daily Border Bulletin: Texas Lawmaker: U.S.-Mexico Border's No War Zone, Law Enforcement, AG Industry Voice Concern Of AL Law,

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up!  Stories featured in your Bulletin are as follows:

Texas lawmaker: U.S.-Mexico border's no war zoneA hearing in the Texas state legislature heats up when State Senator Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso accuses State Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples of fanning the flamesof border rhetoric which miss-characterizes the region as a war zone.

Alabama Immigration Law Update Draws Criticism, Bucks National Trend A hearing on Alabama's harsh anti-immigration law highlights the deep divide in the state as lawmakers and farmers joined sides with immigrant rights groups in voicing their strong disapproval of the law.

No Motive in Killing of Two Immigrants in Arizona ​Several days after the brutal murder of two unarmed undocumented immigrants riding in the back of a pick up truck in the Arizona border region, no motive has been found

Daily Border Bulletin: Importing Undocumented Immigrants-Into Private Georgia Prisons, Gunmen Kill Two Undocs In Arizona, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Stories featured in your Border Bulletin include:

Importing Undocumented Immigrants-Into Private Georgia Prisons: In an attempt to stave off bankruptcy of a local prison, a small town in Georgia persuades ICE to house detained undocumented immigrants.

Gunmen kill two Undocumented Immigrants in Arizona:  On the American side of the Arizona border two armed gunman opened fire on a truck carrying undocumented immigrants, killing two.

Sheriff Babeu faces federal investigation, other probes: Immigrant and Border hardliner Paul Babeau is under scrutiny as he is sued by a former co worker and is under investigation from the Federal Government for campaign violations.

Daily Border Bulletin: Condi on Her Great Immigration Reform Regret, AL Citizens Voice Opposition To State Immigration Law, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Stories featured in your Border Bulletin are as follows:

Condoleezza Rice: 'I Don't Know When Immigrants Became The Enemy,' Former Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice recently admitted that one of her greatest regret about serving in the Bush Administration was the missed opportunity at passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Immigration law draws fire in public hearing by House panel considering rewrite: At a recent hearing on Alabama's controversial state passed immigration law, citizens of Alabama voiced their strong opposition for the law.

US turns to Mexican newspaper ads to counter drug smugglers who target unwitting job-seekers: ​The United States government uses newspaper advertisements in Mexico to combat drug smugglers.

Daily Border Bulletin: Sensible Improvements On Immigration, AL Panel To Review Changes To State Immigration Law, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Stories from your Border Bulletin are as follows:

Sensible Improvements on Immigration The Washington Post weighs in on President Obama's latest move to fix our broken immigration system by examining in totality all that his administration has done on this contentious issue.

Alabama Panel to Discuss Revisions to State Immigration Law In Alabama the state legislature is set to review new legislation which seeks to rewrite their state passed immigration law.

Truck Border Crossings Rose 2.6% Last Year After much debate and finally agreement over how to allow access of trucks from Mexico and Canada to enter the United States, crossings have risen 2.6%.

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