Efficient, secure, frictionless borders are a cornerstone of our economic competitiveness, not only in the Cali-Baja mega-region but on the southern border and in an integrated North American economic space.

Mexico, the US and Canada mutually rank as principal partners in each other’s trade relationships and rely on smart borders to power their economies in the global context.

At the Institute of the Americas, from our particular vantage point in San Diego, we recognize the importance of responsible border management to ensuring that vehicles, machinery, medical devices, and agricultural products of Mexican origin or North American co-production cross the border at southern ports of entry and fan throughout North America to reach consumers and households.


This is vital not only to the economic prosperity of our region but also to enhancing North American competitiveness overall.

The Institute of the Americas applauds efforts to analyze obstacles to a fully functional border and to find sound, innovative and technologically-driven solutions.

Laurie Black, Lynn Schenk, Dr. Mary Walshok and Sally Carrillo (L-R) give background on the designing of the SENTRI program

On September 22, the Institute of the Americas co-hosted, along with UC San Diego and the Smart Border Coalition, a conference on these important themes. UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, wearing multiple hats as University Chancellor, as well as Institute of the Americas Board Member and Smart Border Coalition member, spoke to his vision of the border of the future. Dr. Mary Walshok, Dean of UC San Diego Extension and also an Institute Board Member, helped frame the discussion by providing vital historical context about the efforts of Congresswoman Lynn Schenk, a visionary California leader who spearheaded the SENTRI program.

We are proud to be associated with the launch of a report entitled Envision 2020 that UC San Diego and Cubic Transportation Systems produced assessing the state of the border and providing key recommendations for the future of the SENTRI program.

We commend the work and collaboration among members of the academic, business and civic communities. Find here the UC San Diego-Cubic white paper, which provides a thoughtful perspective on the border, leverages the technological expertise of UC San Diego’s academic community and serves as an example of San Diego’s public-private collaboration in problem-solving and providing models which may serve other regions as well.

Finally, speaking of the importance of safe and smart borders to shared North American economic prosperity, the Institute will be hosting a conversation October 15 with Canada’s Ambassador to the US, Gary Doer. Please click here for further details.

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