Migration Policy Institute
Managing Borders in North America: Charting the Future
Eduardo Medina Mora, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
Malcolm Brown, Executive Vice-President, Canada Border Services Agency
David V. Aguilar, Partner, GSIS; former Acting Commissioner of U. S. Customs and Border Protection; and former National Chief of the Border Patrol
Gustavo Mohar, Former Undersecretary of Population, Migration and Religious Affairs, Mexico
Randall Hansen, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Immigration & Governance, Department of Political Science, the University of Toronto
Demetrios G. Papademetriou, MPI President
In an ideal world, secure borders would ensure that legal flows of commerce and travelers could move unimpeded across borders, while unwanted movements—of terrorists, drugs, weapons, other contraband, and unauthorized migrants—were blocked. Given that there is no single policy tool that alone can achieve this result, governments must deploy an often elusive mix of policies and programs, depending on the context. In North America, all three countries have struggled to strengthen the border post-9/11 while balancing economic, political, humanitarian, and security concerns. New policies and methods deployed in this effort, including dramatically new technology, have generated a number of challenges and controversies. These same innovations have also brought opportunities for improved security and increased regional cooperation in working toward shared goals.
This panel discussion offers perspectives on border policy management from leading officials in the Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. governments, and showcases MPI’s newest publication, Managing Borders in an Increasingly Borderless World. Book co-editors Randall Hansen and Demetrios G. Papademetriou cover the volume’s findings on the continuing and evolving challenges in border management and security—terrorism, organized crime, illegal migration, smuggling, trafficking, human rights, infrastructure, corruption, and economic and political factors—and offer an analysis of effective and ineffective policies and programs.
This discussion focuses on North American experiences with the challenges and successes these governments have had in pursuing better, more effective, and smarter border controls and on the deepening regional cooperation in this important policy area.