May 4

Past Event

Southwest Border Partners: U.S. - Mexico Cooperation on Security, Law Enforcement, and Commerce

Event Materials



  • Arizonans Deserve Safe and Secure Border

    Sec. Janet Napolitano, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security: While having vetoed laws similar to the controversial new Arizona immigration measure while governor of that state, Arizonians deserve a border that is safe and secure.

  • U.S.-Mexico Border Should Facilitate Commerce

    Sec. Janet Napolitano, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security: The U.S.-Mexico border should be safe, secure and also facilitate trade and commerce.

  • Arizona Law Promotes Racial Profiling

    Fernando Gómez-Mont, Secretary of the Interior, Mexico: The new Arizona law promotes racial profiling and raises legal and human rights issues. The migration issue should be handled differently between two countries that have a long history together.

  • Illegal U.S. Weapons Contribute to the Problem

    Fernando Gómez-Mont, Secretary of the Interior, Mexico: The illegal transport of U.S. weapons into Mexico contributes to the violence. Understanding the scope of the problem, the Mexican government is actively pursuing reform measures.


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With more than $1 billion in cross-border commerce taking place every day, the U.S. and Mexican economies are increasingly linked, with both nations committing to expediting lawful trade and travel—and reducing barriers to expanded commerce—while still maintaining security. In the past 15 months, the United States and Mexico have formed an unprecedented partnership to confront common security challenges, and expanded and streamlined opportunities for lawful trade and commerce along our shared Southwest border. As Mexican President Felipe Calderón continues to target violent drug cartels along the border, the Obama administration recently marked the first anniversary of its Southwest Border Initiative, deploying additional personnel, technology, and infrastructure to the region to crack down on transnational crime that fuels the violence.

On May 4, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion with Janet Napolitano, U.S. Homeland Security secretary, and Fernando Gómez-Mont, Mexican Interior secretary. Secretary Napolitano has visited Mexico five times in the past year, most recently in March as part of the U.S. delegation for the Mérida U.S.-Mexico High Level Consultative Group, where she and Secretary Gómez-Mont signed agreements to bolster aviation and border security between their countries. Brookings Senior Fellow Audrey Singer provided introductory remarks and Senior Fellow E.J. Dionne, Jr. moderated the discussion.

After their remarks, Secretary Napolitano and Secretary Gómez-Mont took questions from the audience.

Event Agenda


May 4, 2010

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Saul/Zilkha Rooms

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105