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ASU hosts U.S.-Mexico representatives to discuss border issues

June 18, 2009

Border Governors Conference (BGC) representatives from the U.S. and Mexico met at Arizona State University June 17-18 for a third planning meeting, sponsored by the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) in preparation for the upcoming XXVII Border Governors Conference to be held on Sept. 2-4, 2009 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Along with BGC representatives, several border institutions met to discuss competitiveness, security and sustainability – topics affecting the U.S.-Mexico region. These issues are not only being targeted within the BGC agenda but also included on the binational agenda of many organizations.

During these meetings, the Pacific Council on International Policy (PCIP); Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI); Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF); Woodrow Wilson Institute; North American Center for Transborder Studies (NACTS); the AMC; and BGC representatives met to combine efforts to present a uniformed voice for the borderlands to and with the federal governments in Washington, D.C. and Mexico City.

“Border institutions, like the Arizona-Mexico Commission, are vital to enhance the quality of life for all residents,” said Margie A. Emmermann, policy advisor for Mexico & Latin America for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s office and executive eirector of the AMC who gave an overview of border institutions. “Bringing together these types of institutions allow us to bring to the forefront issues affecting the region and demonstrate the effectiveness of working collaboratively for a common purpose,” said Emmermann.

The U.S. – Mexico border region depends on the cooperation of a number of different types of organizations to move forward. This is the first instance where numerous border institutions have come together to discuss these topics at a uniform level. Forums such as these are key in addressing important issues affecting the region at a local, state and federal level.

Participants attending these meetings include Nuevo Leon Governor Natividad Gonzalez; Honorable Jim Kolbe; Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza; Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Venezuela and Zambia Jeff Davidow; Former Governor of Chihuahua Patricio Martinez; Border Czar for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Alan Bersin; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and the U.S. Department of Justice.