The State of Security in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region

By
Eric L. Olson and Erik Lee

Concerns about global terrorism, potential threats posed by those entering the United States illegally, and fears that skyrocketing violence in Mexico might spillover into the United States have led to dramatic policy shifts and significant efforts to secure the border.  Without a doubt, the U.S. and Mexican federal governments have made large investments in staffing, infrastructure and technology and have reorganized and refocused efforts to respond to specific threats and events. Yet gains in areas such as apprehensions of undocumented migrants and reductions in violence in key cities such as Ciudad Juarez seem tenuous at best and beg for more comprehensive, creative and collaborative solutions between these two countries, one a superpower and the other a key emerging power.

The working paper, which explores these challenges and some potential solutions, will be published in the spring of 2013 as a chapter in the forthcoming State of the Border Report, which seeks to provide a comprehensive yet accessible look at the state of affairs in border management and the border region, focusing on four core areas: trade and economic development, security, sustainability, and quality of life. The State of the Border Report is an initiative of the Border Research Partnership, which is comprised of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute, Arizona State University's North American Center for Transborder Studies, and el Colegio de la Frontera Norte.

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