High-level representatives from the U.S. and Mexican governments met March 4 in Mexico City for the 12th Plenary Meeting of the 21st Century Border Management Initiative Executive Steering Committee to encourage increased bilateral collaboration on key issues affecting our shared border. Both countries committed to continue close coordination on important bilateral issues such as strengthening the licit flow of goods and people, promoting public safety, and combatting transnational crime. The meeting was hosted by Jesus Seade, Under Secretary for North America of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE); by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau of the U.S. Department of State; and by Under Secretary James W. McCament of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The delegations approved the 21st Century Border Management Initiative Strategy. This strategy provides a framework to collaborate more closely on promoting the shared border as a safe and competitive region, while also highlighting the key role it plays in the economic development and wellbeing of its communities.
To that end, the delegations adopted Action Plans to guide bilateral efforts to modernize and expand ports of entry along the shared border; facilitate the flow of trade and travelers between the two countries; and strengthen cooperation on public safety in the border region.
Both countries committed to continue with the excellent bilateral collaboration regarding border infrastructure, highlighted by the recent expansion of the San Ysidro-El Chaparral border crossing, the busiest passenger port of entry in the Western Hemisphere. To facilitate the movement of commercial goods and travelers between the two countries, in 2020 both governments expect to implement low-cost, high-impact strategies to simplify customs and immigration screening and reduce wait times. This includes expansion of the Unified Cargo Processing Program and Trusted Traveler Programs of North America (Viajero Confiable México, Global Entry, and NEXUS). The delegations also committed to increasing cooperative efforts to share law enforcement information and prevent crime and violence in the border region through better-coordinated enforcement activities.
The 21st Century Border Management Initiative is a bilateral cooperation mechanism with a clear goal of improving border security and promoting the economic competitiveness of North America. The Bilateral Executive Steering Committee has generally held annual plenary meetings since the mechanism was launched in 2010.