My Desert, 07/12/2012

A private, three-day retreat for top U.S. and Mexican dignitaries held at the Sunnylands Estate in March has led to new proposals to improve relations between the neighboring countries.

The new Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands released those recommendations Wednesday in a report with the Washington, D.C.-based Wilson Center.

It stemmed from conversations that included former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Ambassador to the United Nations and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan and about 20 others.

The retreat at Sunnylands took place March 29, 30 and 31. “For those of us who were there, we saw what this place can offer,” former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman said Wednesday during the report's unveiling in Washington.

The binational and bipartisan report, dubbed “A Stronger Future,” says the two nations have a unique opportunity as Mexico's middle class grows to strengthen economic ties, secure the border while allowing for more goods to pass across, and fix immigration through visa reform.

U.S. immigration laws have stayed about the same since the 1960s and visas are granted based on family, with only 14 percent of visas into the country related to work, the Sunnylands report states.


To see video of the event click here.