Border Issues

The border region is home to more than 80 million people in four U.S. and six Mexican states and extends nearly 2,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Its combined annual GDP is approximately $3.8 trillion and the bulk of U.S.-Mexico trade passes through its many land crossings. The border region serves as a conduit and source of commerce, tourism, and student-exchange that is vital to both countries, and it is the site of intense binational integration and cooperation, especially on issues of shared importance, such as transportation infrastructure and the environment. 

Key law enforcement efforts to counter transnational crime occur at in the border region, making clear the need for  binational coordination on issues of common security. The ecosystem of the border region, overlapping national boundaries, underscores the importance of meaningful cooperation between the two countries to protect shared natural resources and habitats.

The Mexico Institute’s current border-related programming includes the following:

U.S.-Mexico State Alliance Partnership:
As a member of this network aimed at promoting binational cooperation, the Mexico Institute provides a key forum for state-to-federal and cross-border dialogue in Washington. In 2012, partnership activities will include conferences on U.S.-Mexico border infrastructure and cross-border civil society engagement, as well as delegation visits by fellow partnership members, such as the Border Legislative Conference. On March 1st, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Mexico Institute cosponsored a conference with the Border Legislative Conference and the Council of State Governments - West, titled"Building a 21st Century Border: Regional Master Plans and Transportation Infrastructure.”

Border Research Partnership
With the North American Center for Transborder Studies at Arizona State Universityand El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, the partnership provides public policy research to border-state policymakers in both countries. 

Awards for U.S.-Mexico Cross-Border Cooperation:
The Mexico Institute, with the Border Research Partnership, will launch in 2011 an awards program recognizing extraordinary experiences of binational cooperation in several fields, including public safety, transportation planning, environmental stewardship, education, health, and the arts, among others. For more information on the awards or to submit an entry form, please visit the award’s bilingual websites at and

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