Mayors of cities along the U.S.-Mexico border are meeting in San Diego this week to strengthen binational ties and address issues such as immigration, cross-border sewage, and new trade agreements.

This level of binational cooperation was a stark contrast from the divisive rhetoric and partisan fighting coming from each nation’s capital.

“Part of the challenge that we have in border towns is basically convincing Washington and Mexico City to work like we are working here in this region,” said Tijuana Mayor Arturo Gonzalez Cruz.

The mayors — 15 from border cities between the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico — are in San Diego as part of a two-day binational summit, hosted by the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association, that kicked off Thursday at UC San Diego.

Border mayors said they work with their binational counterparts every day and should be an example of how collaboration breeds success on both sides of the border.

“Our economies, our culture, our environment are all things that we both have a mutual stake in,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “We realize as border mayors that we have an obligation to continue to work together and tell that story of success.”

On Thursday, the mayors signed two resolutions: one urging the passage of the USMCA trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and the other in support of the reauthorization of the North American Development Bank (NAD Bank) to invest more in border infrastructure projects.

Finalizing a trade agreement would be a real “game changer,” Faulconer said. Specifically, it would generate jobs, capital investments and economic development that wouldn’t just benefit the border region but the heartland of the United States, he added.

Authorizing funds from the NAD Bank, which could be used to build projects to stop cross-border sewage from shutting down San Diego beaches, is one of the most important vehicles available to get quality projects off the drawing board and shovel ready, Faulconer said.

South of the border, Tijuana faces its own water problem.

The city will begin rationing water on Monday because aging infrastructure is making it difficult for Tijuana to pump water from the Colorado River, Mayor Gonzalez Cruz said. Making more funds available through the North American Development Bank could help Tijuana address the issue, the mayor added.

“Upgrading our infrastructure can help treat sewage not just from going to the United States but also stop sewage from getting into the ocean in Mexico,” he said.

On Friday, the mayors are scheduled to talk about immigration and more environmental issues.

Two days removed from a massacre that killed nine women and children in Sonora, mayors on both sides of the border were keen to discuss border safety.

Tijuana’s mayor said the cartels have become more powerful and cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico is the only way to solve that crisis, particularly when it comes to going after the cartels’ source of income and deadly arsenal.

“Two factors have made the cartels stronger; one is profits from their drug sales and the other is the flow of guns into our country,” Gonzalez Cruz said. “This is where we need to have cooperation between the two sides of the border.”

Source link

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *