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Collaborate with Mexico on Border Security

U.S. government officials should give serious consideration to formal collaboration with their Mexican counterparts.

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Because of the angry feelings generated by the fence, and by the current U.S. approach to immigration, greater efforts should be made to bring Mexico—the country that is the primary source of undocumented immigrants—into the planning process. And Mexican officials who have sought to secure their border relying on manpower are eager to help. “The reality is we don’t have enough technology on the Mexican side of the border,” explains Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, Mexico’s deputy attorney general for judicial and foreign affairs, told a U.S. publication in 2008. “If we mirror the technology being used in the United States, then we can be more efficient in this war.

U.S. government officials should give serious consideration to formal collaboration with their Mexican counterparts. One model would have the two governments form a common border management regime. The governments’ proposed Binational Border Authority would have a joint budget and staff and address issues stretching beyond law enforcement and security to include trade and economic development, water and environmental issues, immigration, and labor integration. Ideally, such an authority could help develop technologies that can help prevent criminal activity before it occurs.

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