Border Security | Wilson Center

Border Security

Getting North America Right

When the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States meet on June 29 for a North American Leaders Summit (NALS), they will have two big tasks: 1) to explain clearly why cooperation between the three countries is of great value; and 2) to give clear directions to their officials to do the hard technical work so that cooperation produces solid results for economic growth and competitiveness, for mutual security, for the shared continental e

From Obstacle to Asset: Re-envisioning the U.S.-Mexico Border

The U.S.-Mexico border has yet again made an appearance in the political theater of the U.S. presidential campaign, starring in its traditional supporting role as a stock villain character. Though the political dialogue sounds like a re-reading of a script written in the 1990s or early 2000s when Mexican migration peaked, the discussion on the ground in most—but not all—U.S.-Mexico border communities long ago moved on to regional economic development. It is a largely positive discussion that could not be more different than what we are hearing at the national level.

Priorities for Mexico's New U.S. Ambassador

“The principal task of Ambassador Carlos Sada Solana should not be to respond in a direct manner, to the anti-Mexican discourse that is rampant during this electoral period, but rather to address this rhetoric in a strategic fashion.”

Third Annual "Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border" Conference

The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute and the Border Trade Alliance held our third annual Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border conference, which focused on improving border management in order to strengthen the competitiveness of both the United States and Mexico.

The "Bridge to Nowhere" Now Connects the United States and Mexico

On February 4, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. Secretaries of Homeland Security and Commerce are scheduled to inaugurate a new border crossing just south of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Once called the “bridge to nowhere” because the U.S.

Lessons from the Development of Binational and Civil Society Cooperation on Water Management at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Mexico and the United States are partners in a number of agreements that imply joint management of natural resources and have had a long and productive history of sharing water resources. The two countries share water resources in the Colorado and Tijuana river basins, and in the Rio Grande basin; the joint utilization of their waters is defined by the Treaty of February 3, 1944 and its Minutes. 

Becoming a Useful Tool for Governments: The Evolution of the North American Development Bank

After two decades of operation, the North American Development Bank (NADB) celebrated its 20th anniversary with ample  possibilities of becoming a more meaningful and useful tool for Mexico and the United States in their bilateral agenda and, more specifically, for their border communities. Furthermore, NADB is one of the few truly bilateral entities; its evolution provides good lessons for border management and for future institution-building.

An Overview of U.S.-Mexico Border Relations

Since the mid-19th century, the U.S.-Mexico border has been many things to many people: a frontier, a scar, a line, a liability, a threat, and an opportunity. Depending on one’s vantage and frame of reference, the border is any or all of these at once.

The Lessons of Post-9/11 Border Management

Shortly after the horrific attacks in Paris, French President François Hollande announced a decision to close his nation’s borders. He said, “We must ensure that no one comes in to commit any act whatsoever, and at the same time make sure that those who have committed these crimes should be arrested if they try to leave the country.”