Great Decisions 2012 | Topic 3

How can the U.S. and Mexico deal with border issues and more?

by George Grayson

Mexico’s border with Central America, as well as the border it shares with the U.S., has been a pathway for people, goods, crime and contraband in both directions. How can Mexico address these transborder challenges? What is the future of Mexico’s relations with its northern and southern neighbors? How will Mexico’s foreign relations affect its domestic politics?

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Related Organizations

  • Institute of the Americas

    For 25 years, the Institute of the Americas has been at the forefront of U.S.-Canada-Latin America cooperation, working with the public and private sectors to encourage investment and information-sharing in energy and technology markets.


  • Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center

    The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by José Antonio Fernández Carbajal and Roger W. Wallace, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.


  • Mexican Cultural Institute

    The Mexican Cultural Institute, situated on a magnificent mansion on 16th Street, N.W. has become an important meeting place for the intellectual and artistic communities on both sides of the border. The institute has developed a close relationship with cultural institutions of the nation's capital such as, the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, among others and, in mutual collaboration, it has developed comprehensive artistic and cultural programs aimed at fostering understanding between our nations.


Recommended Readings

  • United States and Mexico: Between Partnership and Conflict

    by Jorge Dominquez and Rafael Fernandez de castro

    By sharing one of the longest land borders in the world, the United States and Mexico will always have a special relationship. In the early twenty-first century, they are as important to one another as ever before with a vital trade partnership and often-tense migration positions. The ideal introduction to U.S.-Mexican relations, this book moves from conflicts all through the nineteenth century up to contemporary democratic elections in Mexico.


  • The Devil’s Highway

    by Luis Alberto Urrea

    In May 2001, 26 Mexican men scrambled across the border and into an area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil's Highway. Only 12 made it safely across. American Book Award winning writer and poet Urrea (Across the Wire; Six Kinds of Sky; etc.), who was born in Tijuana and now lives outside Chicago, tracks the paths those men took from their home state of Veracruz all the way norte.


  • Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S. – Mexico Border

    by Rachel St. John

    Line in the Sand details the dramatic transformation of the western U.S.-Mexico border from its creation at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848 to the emergence of the modern boundary line in the first decades of the twentieth century. In this sweeping narrative, Rachel St. John explores how this boundary changed from a mere line on a map to a clearly marked and heavily regulated divide between the United States and Mexico. Focusing on the desert border to the west of the Rio Grande, this book explains the origins of the modern border and places the line at the center of a transnational history of expanding capitalism and state power in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.