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Texas Border and Mexican Affairs
Border Governors Conference logo

Accomplishments - Executive Summary from June 2002 - June 2003
Presented at the XXI
United States - Mexico
Border Governors Conference

 

GENERAL

The Governors of the 10 border states successfully established two new work tables that met for the first time in 2003.

On March 27, 2003, the Border Governors met in a special meeting in New Mexico to discuss the impact of increased security on the economies of border communities.

AGRICULTURE

Recommendation 1
Work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Secretaría de Agricultura, ganadería, desarrollo rural pesca y alimentación (SAGARPA) to coordinate a bio/agroterrorism defense plan for the border region.

Accomplishments

  1. A "Members' Only" section has been established on the Border Governors Conference Agriculture Work Table (AWT) website. States have already begun placing information on the website http://www.agr.state.tx.us/border/index.htm
  2. A U.S. border state hosted a preliminary meeting with the Mexican border states to discuss foreign animal disease responses to continue enhancing the lines of communication between the border states.

Recommendation 2
Collaborate with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Secretaría de Agricultura, ganaderia, desarrollo rural, pesca y alimentación (SAGARPA) to actively support prevention, control and eradication programs for plant diseases and pests.

Accomplishments

  1. The work table met on several occasions to share information on pest and animal disease activities.
  2. Cooperated in the regional biological control and management of plant pests such as the pink bollworm to propose to develop a suppression/eradication program for New Mexico, West Texas, and Northern Mexico.
  3. Letters were sent to the USDA Secretary Ann Veneman and the SAGARPA Secretary Javier Usabiaga regarding fruit fly pest-free areas.

Recommendation 3
Coordinate with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Secretaría de Agricultura, ganadería, desarrollo rural, pesca y alimentación (SAGARPA) to allocate additional resources to support prevention, control and eradication programs for animal diseases and pests.

Accomplishments

  1. The AWT Animal Health Committee participated in the USDA tuberculosis (TB) technical teams that review all Mexican Border States' TB programs.
  2. The AWT border state veterinarians participated with USDA and the SAGARPA in the Bi-National TB Committee meetings that review changes of regional disease status.
  3. The AWT Animal Health Committee assisted the USDA to formulate interstate animal movement regulations, which will address the disease status of tuberculosis in Mexican states. The six Mexican border states passed state regulations that concur with the new USDA's regulations.
  4. A Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak simulation exercise took place between Texas and Coahuila with participation from Border States.
  5. Some members of the Agriculture Work Table Animal Committee participated on California's multi-agency task force responses for the Exotic Newcastle disease.
  6. The SAGARPA approved the Mexican Border States proposed tuberculosis and fruit fly project in May 2003. Both SAGARPA and the Mexican Border States are working to allocate funding for fiscal year 2004 through 2006.

BORDER CROSSINGS

Recommendation 1
Urge both federal governments to increase financial resources for transportation infrastructure in border states serving international bridges or border crossings and transportation corridors, for new projects as well as for expansions, modernization and improvements. Projects should include border safety inspection services with increased funding for additional staff, equipment and state-of-the-art technology to make border crossings faster, safer, and more secure, to mitigate the negative economic impacts in border communities caused by the prolonged wait times. Likewise, strengthen national security through design, components, and operations of all existing and future federal and state border facilities, improving operation and flow.

Accomplishments

  1. A work group was established with the different federal agencies that deal with border crossings to follow up on the recommendations in the Border Governors' Joint Declaration.
  2. At the meeting that was held on April 9, 2003 in Chihuahua City, the federal agencies that deal with border crossings reported on their modernization, expansion projects and on new crossings.
  3. At the same meeting, reports were given on advances in the Modernization and Equipment Program for customs installations.

Recommendation 2
Request improvements in the coordination between the different national authorities that operate at border crossings as well as improvements in binational coordination, including synchronizing of operating schedules of United States and Mexican agencies with each other at individual ports of entry and extending hours of operation where necessary. Further request that federal inspection agencies reduce border crossing times to a maximum of 15 minutes for passenger vehicles and 20 minutes for compliant commercial vehicles by developing inspection procedures that can ensure safety and security while allowing efficient movement of persons and goods across the border, and that the federal goverment request an ongoing evaluation process of the efficiency and quality control of the border crossings.

Accomplishments

  1. The Secretaría de Contraloría y Desarrollo Administrativo (now Secretaría de la Función Pública) started operations of the Comisión Intersecretarial para la Coordinación Operativa en los Puntos de Internación al Territorio Nacional (CICOPI), to harmonize the operations of the different authorities that are present at the border crossings.
  2. The schedules group of the CICOPI was formed to harmonize the hours of service at the border crossings.
  3. At the meeting held in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, on April 9, 2003, the representative of SECODAM reported on progress in crossing times for commercial and private vehicles, by the regional CICOPIs.

Recommendation 3
Request the publication, distribution and implementation of the mechanisms for facilitating cross-border operations of commercial vehicles, as agreed upon in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Accomplishments

The work table co-chairs sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration acknowledging its bilingual web site with information for the Mexican motor carrier industry. The work table also acknowledged its print publications and 800 number, and asked that it continue to make this information widely available. The co-chairs also sent a letter to the Mexican Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes acknowledging its well developed web site and requesting that it start a wide spread dissemination of information about Mexican regulations for cross border trucking.

Recommendation 4
Facilitate border crossings by taking the following specific actions: expedite the process of issuing laser visas and make them accessible for border communities that do not have U.S. consulates; evaluate the results of the SENTRI express lane program with the purpose of expanding it to other crossings as well as reducing the cost and time it takes to register in the program; and recommend that border states should participate in any kind of decision that involves border-crossing fees.

Accomplishments

  1. Two letters were sent by the work table to the U.S. Department of State and to the Immigration and Naturalization Service urging them to guarantee that laser visas be processed and issued quickly. The work table also asked that the State Department cooperate with the municipalities to facilitate the application process for individuals that do not have access to a local consulate.
  2. Satisfactory results have been achieved with the SENTRI program, and the feasibility of expanding this program to other crossings on the border is being studied.

Recommendation 5
Promote the implementation of urban development plans with the goal of achieving more harmonized and orderly growth on both sides of the border and establishing the systematic and routine exchange of information about these plans.

Accomplishments

  1. SEDESOL (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social) heads up the process for communicating the work programs for urban development in the cities with border crossings.
  2. A letter was written which will be sent by the border governors to the border authorities or border planning and urban development organizations to persuade them to coordinate and establish an exchange of information to achieve better planning on both sides of the border.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Recommendation 1
Update quarterly the economic information system and regional cluster information through coordinated state and subregion efforts so as to input data into one source and promote the system through all the available promotional strategies and resources at the state and regional level.

Accomplishments

  1. Economic data for all ten Border States has been collected and is now available.

Recommendation 2
Strengthen industry and employment retention throughout the region by: promoting business meetings - by industry - so as to learn about their needs and requirements; setting up a key-factor matrix, by state and by region, to determine industry competitiveness and retention; negotiating with various government levels the establishment of business retention programs; and promoting the establishment of long-term economic policies for the U.S.-México border region.

Accomplishments

  1. A matrix of regional strengths has been developed as a tool to promote the Border States.
  2. A list of the major promotional events throughout the region has been created and will be available at our web site.
  3. The Governors of New Mexico and Chihuahua participated in the first joint promotional mission to Chicago in February 2003.
  4. Probation and publication for the decree for an establishment of a general tax for the importation for the Regional Border and The Northern Ridge Border, thus with the decree they establish the tariff fractions that all claim tax relief from the general importation from the Northern Ridge Border and the Regional Border, both publications are in the Official Journal of the Federation, December 31, 2002.

Recommendation 3
Develop regional suppliers and encourage regional competitiveness by promoting the creation of a specific industry-trade program by state and region, and by promoting strategic alliances between domestic and foreign companies that will enable value-added increases for products manufactured along the border region, windows of opportunity shall be identified through constant communication with local governments and industry organizations that represent the region.

Accomplishments

  1. With the support of the Governors of New Mexico and Chihuahua, a regional recruiting and marketing organization has been created in the Paso del Norte Corridor, including the private sector of El Paso, Texas, Juarez, Chihuahua, and southern New Mexico.
  2. The governors of California and Baja California, with their Secretaries of Economic Development and Transportation, met in March and formed a specific working group to expedite safely commerce across the borders.
  3. The Governors of New Mexico and Chihuahua created the New Mexico-Chihuahua Commission to develop mutually beneficial programs and resolve international border issues.
  4. The states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon initiated a program to exchange information about the development of suppliers to the region.

Recommendation 4
Foster a transparent regulatory framework that will be efficient in the long term for the region by promoting counseling forums to serve as technical support for better regulation for the states and border area subregions.

Accomplishments

  1. The Mexican Border States met with the Federal Commission on Improved Regulation (COFEMER) to discuss streamlining state and municipal regulations.
  2. The Mexican Border States have proposed to COFEMER a system to expedite the establishment of new small business.

EDUCATION

Recommendation 1
Develop a report to support the need for a United States-Mexico Border Commission on Education.

Accomplishments

  1. The Border States developed a study that supports the creation of the Commission
  2. The members of the education worktable worked on the project to support creation, organization and operations of the Commission.
  3. The Secretary of Public Education in Mexico is reviewing the project, in accordance to the law, and is negotiating the funding needed for its operations.

Recommendation 2
Strengthen and promote joint collaboration in the areas of public education and cultural exchange programs throughout the border.

Accomplishments

  1. The education worktable selected the key programs to drive forward the development of the United States-Mexico Border
    1. Educational and cultural exchanges
    2. English-Spanish as a second language
    3. Education based on shared life values
    4. Health and safety education
    5. State-of-the-art didactic technology \
    6. Workforce training and adult education
  2. The following states were charged with the evaluation and proposal of the following:
    Educational and Cultural Exchanges and Migrant Education - Nuevo León & Texas
    1. Health and Safety Education - Chihuahua
    2. Values - Baja California
    3. English as a second language - Coahuila
  3. Evaluation and proposal work is currently in progress; all participating states are compiling information

Recommendation 3

Accomplishments

  1. The following states were charged with the evaluation and proposal of the following:
    1. State-of-the-art didactic technology - Tamaulipas
    2. Workforce training and adult education - Sonora
  2. Evaluation and proposal work is currently in progress; all participating states are compiling information

ENVIRONMENT

Recommendation 1: Coordinate and promote local or state management systems to conserve and optimize water use.

Accomplishments
Actions undertaken by states include:

  1. The six Mexican states solicited from the federal government a hydraulic balance by state in the 2002 declarations.
  2. Baja California has eight wastewater treatment plants.
  3. The development of a Decision-making Support System is being carried out in Chihuahua to administer the Río Conchos basin and intesify treatment of residual waters, relying on 20 treatment plants and 55 lagoon systems and sanitation services coverage of 59%, the national average being 25%. Also, more than $200 million has been invested in the sanitation system for the Río Chuviscar.
  4. The state of Chihuahua has a Water Culture program that has been implemented in 47 localities and 20 municipalities that provides outreach to children on the importance of water. The state also has an "Everyone Together for Water" campaign that coordinates efforts that will benefit all Chihuanuenses.
  5. New Mexico is in the process of developing a policy on the use of residual waters that promotes the efficient use of limited drinking water resources. Also it is implementing a project to develop proper handling practices for the reuse and allocation of land previously used for processing wastewater from dairies.
  6. The State of Texas, through its Water Smart program found at http://www.watersmart.org/, is working with local governments to conserve and optimize water use. In addition, the Texas Water Development Board is working with the Border Environment Conservation Commission and the North American Development Bank to develop water conservation projects for irrigation districts in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, in Hidalgo and Cameron counties. At the BECC meeting in Brownsville, Texas on June 18, five projects were certified that would conserve irrigation water in Cameron and Hidalgo counties.
  7. Coahuila works with treatment plants in the cities of Acuña, Sabinas, Saltillo, Torreón and Piedras Negras.
  8. In February a binational workshop on "Environmental Management Systems and Pretreatment of Residual Waters" was held in Tamaulipas. There is a joint effort with the federal government, the municipality of Matamoros and the Water and Drainage Board for the development of a comprehensive drinking water and sanitation project for Matamoros with the support of BECC and the NADBank.

Recommendation 2
Work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), and the Western Governors Association (WGA) to develop projects that improve air quality in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Accomplishments
Actions undertaken by states include:

  1. Baja California and Sonora have pavement projects under consideration by BECC through its Clean Air Program.
  2. Baja California has developed a pilot project to inventory vehicular emissions.
  3. California has trained twenty technicians from Tijuana for ambient monitoring certification.
  4. Arizona and Sonora have developed an air quality improvement plan for Ambos Nogales and have initiated an air quality study for the San Luis Río Colorado region.
  5. Chihuahua and Coahuila have developed and promote alternatives to decrease emissions generated by brick kilns.
  6. Texas through the Central States Regional Air Planning Association (CENRAP), worked with EPA and the WGA on a conference in early March in El Paso on international air quality issues.
  7. Tamaulipas has implemented the Inspections and Compliance Program.
  8. The ten states support binational air quality groups such as the Joint Advisory Committee for the Improvement of Air Quality in the Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua / El Paso, Texas / Doña Ana County, New Mexico Air Basin.

Recommendation 3
Promote the development of an environmental strategy for new electrical generation plants in the border region with the goal of protecting air quality, and, where possible, conserving water resources in the region.

Accomplishments

This issue was turned to the recently created Energy Work Table.

Recommendation 4
Identify integrated strategies for waste tire management along the border, in coordination with appropriate federal authorities, to promote adequate management and recycling, and to reduce health and environmental risks.

Accomplishments
Actions undertaken by states include:

  1. SEMARNAT has formed a workgroup to address the issue of used tires in the border region, which seeks to continue and offer support to border authorities for finding solutions for this serious problem, and is consistent with the Border 2012 Program.
  2. Arizona, with EPA support, implemented a pilot project to inventory waste tires in San Luis Río Colorado.
  3. The municipality of Chihuahua initiated a waste tires (400,000) treatment project with private sector support that shreds the tires prior to utilizing them at a landfill. The First Binational Waste Tire Management and Disposal Workshop was held in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
  4. New México held discussions with a private company for the construction and operation of a plant that utilizes waste tires as fuel near an electricity generating station.
  5. Texas has obtained a grant waste tire management from EPA's Region 6 office along the border, and held workshops on the subject in Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Juárez and San Antonio.
  6. Tamaulipas held the Border Waste Tires Workshop in Nuevo Laredo.
  7. In some border cities, like Ciudad Juárez, the disposal of waste tires through low scale productive uses is being addressed.

Recommendation 5
Enhance emergency preparedness among sister cities along the border by updating or developing sister city emergency response plans and supporting community needs for additional binational training and equipment in preparation for chemical emergencies, fires and emerging threats.

Accomplishments

  1. California has trained personnel from the attorney general's office and state police on identifying and dismanteling clandestine drug/chemical labs.
  2. Sonora and Arizona have binational emergency preparedness plans for all four sister-cities in their border region.
  3. Chihuahua's environmental agency has provided training in border communities through the Civil Protection Areas.
  4. New México created an office to specifically address emergency response plans.
  5. Texas held several training exercises were held with Protección Civil, PROFEPA, the Kickapoo Nation, the TCEQ and the City of Eagle Pass on September 2-6, 2002 in the Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras area. In addition, the EPA is currently working with the City of El Paso and the Municipio de Juárez to develop a sister-city plan for these two cities, the two largest on the Texas portion of the U.S.-Mexico border.
  6. Emergency response trainings were held in various municipalities in Tamaulipas.

Recommendation 6
Join the efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), and the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation to forge and participate in a U.S.-Mexico border states pollution prevention partnership to integrate pollution prevention in environmental protection. This effort to promote pollution prevention and cleaner production anticipates an increase in environmental innovation that results in a cleaner environment and stronger economy.

Accomplishments
Activities undertaken by states include:

  1. The six Mexican status and SEMARNAT agreed to jointly organize pollution prevention workshops in 2003.
  2. SEMARNAT already gave its approval to include November 15 as Recycling Day in the environmental agenda, which is being processed by the Legal Council of the Presidency for the Federal Executive authority, to approve and remit the respective Decree.
  3. SEMARNAT, through the National Institute of Ecology and the General Directorate of Air Quality and with the support of the Western Governors Association, is developing an emissions inventory for the six Mexican border states.
  4. Baja California and California have participated in the implementation of various pollution prevention courses in the four principal cities of Baja California.
  5. Sonora and Arizona implemented an Amigo Program geared toward maquiladoras to reduce the generation of hazardous waste.
  6. In Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua the Air Quality Program for 2004-2006 is being updated and includes three monitors that measure carbon monoxide, total suspended particulates and ozone. The installation of two monitoring stations for PM10 particulates is being addressed in Ojinaga. Chihuahua has a mobile air monitoring station that measures ozone, PM10 particulates, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxides.
  7. New Mexico provides pollution prevention trainings for the border community.
  8. Texas held workshops in February 2003 on disposal of grease from restaurants.
  9. Each state has an environmental education program.
  10. The states exchanged information on strategies and binational initiatives on pollution prevention, including recognition programs for industrial sector accomplishments.

HEALTH

Recommendation 1
Provide continued support to implement the binational border health information system among the 10 border states.

Accomplishments

  1. The Health work table met in Laredo Texas on September 19, 2003. Operative guidelines of the Binational Border Health Information System working group were developed and approved.
  2. The BBHIS was divided in five vertical Regional Subsystems.
    1. California-Baja California Regional Subsystem: The 2002 California Annual Border Heath Status Report, prepared by the California Office of Binational Border Health (COBBH), will include information on health indicators for the California and Baja California border region. Binational Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS): COBBH has played a key role in establishing an infectious disease surveillance network on both sides of the California-Mexico border that provides early warning of disease problems. This system has contributed to measles and rubella control in the region and is monitoring for the occurrence of West Nile virus. BIDS also has a protocol for exchange of public health information between participating coordinators in both sides of the border.
    2. Arizona-Sonora Regional Subsystem: The Arizona and Sonora public health departments have been sharing national and local information related to public health emergency response activities through a secured web site, the Arizona state Secured Integrated Response Emergency Notification (SIREN) system. Currently 13 Sonora Public Health Officials have access through a password-protected system. The 13 include staff from Hermosillo, the Santa Ana and Caborca Jurisdicciones and the four border communities of Naco, Agua Prieta, Nogales, and San Luis Rio Colorado. Sonora will be adding Puerto Penasco and Sonoyta to the network in the coming months. The Office of Border Health is currently creating within SIREN a Border Health Category. In Arizona, the counties of Pima, Cochise, Yuma and Santa Cruz will have access to this Border Health page. Under this category, the sister states will share published health alerts, epidemiological information, and any other information deemed significant and of public health import. Only the binational network will have access to this "Category". In addition both Sonora and Arizona participate in the infectious disease surveillance project that provides early warning of infectious disease surveillance problems.
    3. New Mexico-Texas-Chihuahua Regional Subsystem: This was the first Regional Subsystem that was established on November 1997, which led to the implementation of the Binational Border Health Information System, better known as EPI-FAX Information System. Monthly meetings are held to support binational project activities of these border communities. This year the Health Alert Network System (HANS) has been included as a component of the BBHIS and is under implementation.
    4. Texas-Coahuila Regional Subsystem and the Texas-Tamaulipas Regional Subsystem: An Agreement among these four states was established to permit analysis of health risks and hazards, which would facilitate planning, development and evaluation of activities that can be realized between the border states of both countries. This system will allow timely interfacing of the administrative and operative process of the municipalities and border public health jurisdictions of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, and public health regions of Texas Department of Health. Health communications assessment of theses border region has completed. These four Border States are working jointly to improve the electronic infrastructure of the local border jurisdictions. This year the Health Alert Network System (HANS) has been included as component of the BBHIS and is under implementation. The objective of HANS is to share the Texas health alerts and public health information important for these four Border States. Additionally, an 800 number was established to facilitate communications among these border communities.

Recommendation 2
Promote the development of a public-private prevention framework along the United States-Mexico border to promote the prevention of substance abuse that ensures a collaborative commitment to prevention programs and strategies that have proven effective.

Accomplishments

  1. The representatives of the Substance Abuse Commission (SAC) met September 20 2002 and August 1, 2003 in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.
  2. A proposed plan was drafted which includes the following:
    1. Establish a committee that allows the SAC to receive funding and resources to be utilized to develop research protocols.
    2. .Promote the exchange of information and training of effective treatment models utilized within the Border States.

XIX BGC Recommendation
Establish common health indicators for developing joint strategic border health planning.

Accomplishments

  1. The Binational Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Health Work Table of the U.S.-Mexico Border Governors Conference met twice during the year (September 19-20, 2002 at Laredo, TX and June 7-8, 2003 in El Paso, TX) to provide technical assistance on the Health Indicators-better known as Healthy Gente/Frontera Saludable Indicators.
  2. The TWG agreed to identify the baseline data for each one of the indicators at the border level, using data from year 2000 and projecting them to 2010.
  3. The U.S. section of the TWG is working by invitation of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission to review and finalize, in coordination with the USMBHC advisory group, the publication Healthy Border 2010 based on the same indicators that the Binational TWG is working on. The publication will be available by Fall 2003.

TOURISM

Recommendation 1
Design and implement a mechanism to consistently and accurately collect information regarding the volume of cross-border travel and travelers to gain comparable data to measure the importance of border tourism.

Accomplishments

  1. Texas tourism officials held meetings with Banco de Mexico, the Mexico Tourism Promotion Board and SECTUR in Mexico City to discuss opportunities to coordinate binational data on the tourism market in order to obtain a comprehensive study.
  2. The Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix released in May 2003 the study, "Economic Impact of the Mexico-Arizona Relationship," carried out by researchers at Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, and sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. The study, available at www.sre.gob.mx/phoenix, includes an analysis of Mexican visitors' impact on the border tourism economy and job creation.
  3. The University of Arizona issued in July 2002 a report titled, "The Economic Impacts of Mexican Visitors to Arizona," that analyzes the travel and spending patterns of Mexican visitors to Arizona. The study was submitted to the Tucson-Mexico Trade Office.

Recommendation 2
Support, preserve and promote jointly the natural and cultural diversity and scenic beauty of the border region through education and the marketing of historic, cultural and ecotourism corridors.

Accomplishments

  1. The Arizona and Sonora Offices of Tourism sponsored La Ruta de Sonora binational ecotourism project by linking to their websites, sponsoring collateral materials and providing venues for public presentations on the project.
  2. The Center for Arizona-Sonora Regional Tourism Development, an initiative of the Arizona and Sonora Offices of Tourism, promoted the Two-Nation Vacation concept through development of professional marketing materials and strategic planning.
  3. The Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) and the Comisión Sonora-Arizona (CSA) supported the Beyond Borders sculpture project in Ambos Nogales in an effort to promote the development of cultural tourism in the border region.
  4. The Mexican states of Sonora, Chihuahua and Nuevo León established cooperative domestic marketing programs in 2002. All Mexican Border States are invited to participate in the National and International Marketing Plan to be released in 2003.

Recommendation 3
Expand collaborative information programs that inform and assist potential travelers regarding their rights and obligations, including those pertaining to taxes and immigration, to enhance the experience of visitors to the border region.

Accomplishments

  1. Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism completed in December 2002 a bilingual Tourists Manual for foreign visitors, available at www.sectur.gob.mx and currently being distributed through the tourism offices of the northern border states, Consulates, foreign tour operators, federal agencies and offices of the Tourism Promotion Council of Mexico.
  2. The Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) Task Force on Real Estate Practices, Investment & Development, formed by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, completed a series of educational tools designed to protect consumers and promote best practices in the Arizona-Sonora real estate market. The materials are available at www.azmc.org.

Recommendation 4
Establish a joint program to monitor and encourage modifications to existing measures relating to migration and tax matters, and oppose new measures that negatively impact tourism, economic development and cross-border movement.

Accomplishments

  1. The Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) and Comisión Sonora-Arizona (CSA) in June 2003 hosted the Director of the U.S. VISIT Program, the border entry/exit controls system being implemented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to inform the border communities and enable them to express their concerns about the program.
  2. The Mexican federal government, at the petition of the Northern Border States, eliminated the immigration fee for tourists entering Mexico by land and visiting for no more than seven days.
  3. Arizona tourism officials testified before the United States Congress in 2002 regarding the potential negative impact of the U.S. federal government's proposed reduction of the default period for tourist visas from six months to one month.

Recommendation 5
Take steps with the corresponding authorities of both countries to facilitate the entry of tourists in order to strengthen the respective border economies.

Accomplishments

  1. Foreign tourists and paisanos headed for Mexico can now carry out immigration, customs and vehicle importation proceedings in advance at Mexican Consulates in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Sacramento and Salt Lake City, and soon in Phoenix, Arizona.
  2. The Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) issued in February 2003 the report, "Arizona's Global Gateway: Addressing the Priorities of Our Border Communities," to analyze needs at Arizona's ports of entry, which are critical to commerce and tourism. The AMC has initiated the implementation phase of this project in coordination with relevant local, state and federal authorities.
  3. Mexico's Northern Border States continued to open special tourism windows to attend to foreign visitors entering Mexico by land to engage in hunting or fishing activities. These windows are in operation in: Matamoros, Tamaulipas; Colombia, Nuevo León; Mexicali, Baja California; and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Openings are scheduled for 2003 at: Chihuahua, Chihuahua Airport; Hermosillo, Sonora Airport; and Piedras Negras, Coahuila.
  4. The U.S. CANAMEX Corridor Coalition held a joint meeting with its Mexican and Canadian counterparts at the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) Plenary Session in June 2003 to coordinate cross-border strategic planning for the trade and tourism corridor.
  5. The University of Arizona Cyberport Study, sponsored by the Arizona Department of Transportation and supported the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC), was released in June 2003 at the AMC Plenary Session in Tucson, Arizona. The study proposes systemic changes to border ports of entry in order to better facilitate the flows of good and people across the border.