Accomplishments - Executive Summary
- Successfully petitioned U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission to allow Border Governors' representatives to participate as observers in Commission meetings, beginning with the October 2001 meeting.
- Published "U.S.-Mexico Border States September 11 Impact Report" in February 2002 and presented the report to Governor Tom Ridge, Director of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, during the first official Border Governors' federal outreach visit, led by Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull and Chihuahua Governor Patricio Martinez
- Recommended the establishment of a "Smart Borders Declaration" between the United States and Mexico, a recommendation that came to be in March 2002 when President Bush and Fox signed a 22-point agreement on border crossings during their meeting in Monterrey, Nuevo León.
WORK WITH THE FEDERAL AUTHORITIES TO ALLOCATE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO SUPPORT PREVENTION, CONTROL AND ERADICATION PROGRAMS FOR ANIMAL AND PLANT PESTS AND DISEASES.
- During 2001, the Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA), allocated the Mexican states 20% more resources than in the previous year.
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be allocating an additional $43 million to the states to strengthen food supply infrastructure and to improve their capability to respond to animal disease threats and to detect plant pests and diseases.
REQUEST THAT THE FEDERAL AGENCIES OF BOTH COUNTRIES IMPLEMENT MODERN, COMPREHENSIVE AND SYSTEMATIC INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION PROCESSES AT THE CHECK POINTS.
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $35 million to strengthen the Agriculture Quarantine Inspection program to exclude agricultural pests and diseases at the border.
REQUEST THAT FEDERAL AGENCIES OF MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES CONTINUE WITH THE AUGMENTATION OF THE "BORDER AND CORRIDORS" IN ORDER TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY, SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE BORDER CROSSINGS.
- The "Borders and Corridors" elements of the TEA-21 included funding a total of $97.2 million dollars for Border Safety Inspection Stations and infrastructure projects along the U.S.-Mexico border.
REQUEST THAT FEDERAL INSPECTION SERVICES (FIS) INVOLVED IN BORDER ACTIVITIES REDUCE BORDER CROSSING DELAYS AND THAT THEY ESTABLISH A PERMANENT EFFICIENCY AND CONTROL EVALUATION SYSTEM FOR BORDER CROSSINGS.
- The Texas Department of Transportation in collaboration with the Texas A&M University Texas Transportation Institute and the University of Texas Center for Transportation Research is nearing completion of the second phase of the Model Border Crossing Facility project. The objective of the MBCF is to develop a prototype border inspection facility that can significantly reduce border crossing delays for most commercial vehicles without compromising the processes required by federal and state entities responsible for interdiction and law. This will be accomplished by incorporating intelligent systems for federal and state agency inspections and other activities in one facility for commercial vehicles entering Texas at the Mexican border. Researchers are currently determining how much of the MBCF prototype can be implemented at Texas border crossings.
REQUEST THAT FEDERAL AGENCIES DEVELOP SHORT, MEDIUM AND LONG RANGE PLANS FOR EXISTING AND FUTURE INTERNATIONAL BORDER CROSSINGS IN COORDINATION WITH EACH STATE AND LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PLANS.
- The Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) began the reconstruction of the Nuevo Progreso International Bridge in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, with federal funds.
REQUEST THAT THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROVIDE NEW FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES RELATING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW TRUCKING PROVISIONS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA) TO THE BORDER STATES.
- $18 million dollars in National Motor Carrier Safety Program funds for "Border State grants," are reserved for Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to hire border truck safety inspectors.
COMPILE ALL BORDER STATES' ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION AND STUDIES REGARDING STRATEGIC ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING FREE TRADE AGREEMENT DISPUTE RESOLUTION, IN ORDER TO IDENTIFY AND JOINTLY DEVELOP AREAS OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY IN THE BORDER REGION.
- The economic information system was created as a result of the information gathered, so that the data can be included in the working table's website. The work table began to implement strategic planning for its states and regional cluster. Disputes stemming from free trade agreements were satisfactorily settled, and controversies resolved.
WORK JOINTLY TO ENCOURAGE INVESTMENT AND PROMOTE TRADE BY UTILIZING PROMOTIONAL TOOLS AND IMPLEMENT ONE-STOP FACILITATION PROCESSES TO PROVIDE INFORMATION FOR COMPANIES WANTING TO LOCATE IN THE BORDER REGION.
- Joint promotion of the border subregions was initiated by groups of states. One-stop-shops were implemented, and are currently available by state.
EDUCATION PROMOTE COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS TO EXPAND, REVITALIZE AND ENHANCE THE PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURES AND PROGRAMS IN THE BORDER STATES IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE CONTINUATION AND EXPANSION OF ACTIVITIES.
- The states are working on the development of a database that will collect information on basic education programs such as cultural, health, and dual language education.
RECOMMEND THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BORDER STATES, ESTABLISH A UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER COMMISSION ON EDUCATION TO ENHANCE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR INHABITANTS OF THE BORDER REGION.
- The states agreed on the need for the establishment of a United States-Mexico Border Commission on Education which will provide monitoring of educational activities along the U.S.-Mexico Border, follow up on initiatives, as well as serve as a clearinghouse for information pertaining to border related educational programs.
IMPLEMENT RECOGNITION PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE POSITIVE ACTIONS TOWARDS THE PROTECTION, CONSERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE BORDER REGION, USING CURRENT STATE-TO-STATE MODELS AS A FOUNDATION.
- All ten states have developed or are developing recognition programs.
- The Marine Turtle Protection Program being developed between Tamaulipas and the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, the Texas Shrimp Association has had excellent results for protected turtle nests in Tamaulipas.
ESTABLISH A SYSTEM BETWEEN FEDERAL AGENCIES AND THE STATES FOR TRANS-BOUNDARY NOTIFICATION OF PROPOSED PROJECTS WITH A POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT WITHIN THE 100-KILOMETER BORDER REGION. ·
- All ten states have developed or are developing notification programs for projects through state-to-state environmental plans. Implementation will occur upon approval by the two federal governments. The participants have expressed their desire to work jointly to implement trans-boundary notification.
DEVELOP, IN CONJUNCTION WITH FEDERAL AGENCIES AND INTERESTED MUNICIPALITIES, THE NEXT PHASE OF THE BINATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM TO IMPLEMENT THE PRINCIPLES OF COORDINATION AND TO OBTAIN FEDERAL FUNDING WITHIN A STRUCTURE THAT IDENTIFIES REGIONAL PRIORITIES.
- The ten states, in collaboration with federal representatives, developed and presented a regionally-based proposal for the next phase of the binational border environmental program and are deciding how best to start this regional program.
- State, SEMARNAT and EPA representatives formed a committee to develop a general document that will describe the next phase of the border environmental plan.
ESTABLISH A BINATIONAL BORDER HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR THE 10 BORDER STATES THROUGH THE INTEGRATION OF A "BINATIONAL TECHNICAL HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM WORKING GROUP" TO PREVENT AND REACT TO EPIDEMIOLOGICAL CONTINGENCIES.
- The 6 Mexican states and the Mexico Border Health Commission held a meeting and prepared a situational diagnosis on border health. The information was shared with the 4 U.S. states.
ESTABLISH COMMON HEALTH INDICATORS FOR DEVELOPING JOINT STRATEGIC BORDER HEALTH PLANNING.
- A Statistical and Evaluation Workshop was held in support of the Healthy Border and Healthy People 2010 Program, where the methodology to work with the 19 border health indicators were reviewed.
ESTABLISH A COMMISSION OF SCHOLARS COMPOSED OF REPRESENTATIVES OF EACH BORDER STATE TO STUDY THE DRUG ABUSE PROBLEM FROM A SOCIAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVE AND TO FORMULATE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE RELEVANT AUTHORITIES OF BOTH COUNTRIES.
- The representatives of the Health Work Table and the Commission on Drug Abuse analyzed the most relevant information on addictions and have agreed to work jointly.
- The states of Tamaulipas and Texas will be responsible for the compilation of information obtained
DEVELOP JOINTLY A COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION PROGRAM THAT INFORMS AND ASSISTS POTENTIAL TRAVELERS REGARDING THEIR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS, INCLUDING THOSE PERTAINING TO TAXES AND IMMIGRATION, TO ENHANCE THE EXPERIENCE OF VISITORS TO THE BORDER REGION.
- The Mexican states and Texas are working on the development of an informational brochure that informs a foreign visitor of his rights and obligations, as well as general tourist information.
ESTABLISH A JOINT PROGRAM TO MONITOR AND OPPOSE NEW MEASURES RELATING TO GENERAL, MIGRATION AND TAX MATTERS THAT NEGATIVELY IMPACT TOURISM, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE TRANSIT OF PEOPLE, IN ORDER TO FURTHER BORDER REGION TOURISM.
- The Mexican States petitioned the federal government to install one-stop centers along the border to facilitate entry procedures of hunters and sport fishermen entering Mexico. The pilot program began in Tamaulipas last November with centers scheduled to be opened in the states of Baja California, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon.