U.S., Mexico Officials Work Toward Border Cooperation Improvements

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Mexican government officials work toward bettering joint operations at the border with the hope of improving legitimate trade and travel. In the March meetings, government representatives of the two countries discussed a full range of national security issues as a means of building a shared commitment to cross-border economic policy.

Peña Nieto leads the Mexico as its president, a position he’s held for the last 5 years. In that time, said Secretary Nielsen, the Mexican president has ensured the rapid and secure flow of goods between the two countries. Pointing to the collaborative efforts between DHS and Mexico, Secretary Nielsen expressed her commitment in continuing work with the Nieto Administration.

While ongoing issues around the southern border exist, regional issues compound the situation. Specifically, difficulties facing Venezuelans plays out with border ramifications as nationals in that country face economic collapse. With the collapse comes and increase in crime both inside and outside the South American country.

“The partners shared their mutual desire to confront transnational criminal organizations and money laundering,” according to a DHS release.

While all officials “reiterated their long held respect for the human rights of migrants,” issues at hand include a need for increased seizures and improved information sharing. Infrastructure improvements along the border likewise need attention.

U.S. and Mexican officials are moving forward with development and implementation efforts around joint and coordinated programs “aimed at increasing trade and customs compliance, as well as combating illicit activities.”

The cooperative chord between officials is laid out in agency Memorandums of Understanding (MOU.) Cargo inspections as well as agricultural safeguarding and agriculture quarantine inspections at ports of entry are among the topics included in agency MOU. The idea behind the MOU is to promote U.S. Customs and Border Patrol offices in collaboration with Mexican customs officers as officials on both sides “will work together to inspect and process cargo shipments.” In other words, the “MOU promotes cooperation and information sharing to enable the U.S. to handle legitimate and safe shipments while addressing those that pose a risk.”