New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger officially announced today that they will co-host an interim meeting of the Border Governors Conference on September 19-20th in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The agenda for the one-and-a-half day meeting will focus on the key issues of border security, economic development and energy. The meeting will bridge the gap between last year's conference in Nuevo Leon and next year's meeting in Baja California, as this year's conference in Arizona was cancelled.
"We strongly believe in the work of the Border Governors Conference and consider it vital to continue the progress made by the Conference," stated Governors Richardson and Schwarzenegger in a joint invitation to the members of the Border Governors Conference. "As border governors, we see the impact of border issues like security, economic development, and energy issues every day. While we may not always agree on every issue, as leaders of the U.S./Mexico border region we must maintain a strong dialogue to help assure cooperation along the border, resolve regional border issues, and make sure bi-national issues are given proper attention by our federal governments."
The cost for the meeting will be split between Governors Richardson and Schwarzenegger with the bulk of the monetary support coming from private sponsors.
Every member of the Border Governors Conference is invited to the interim meeting, including Mexican states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, as well as the U.S. states of Arizona and Texas. Governors' Richardson and Schwarzenegger are also inviting senior representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, Health and Human Services, and Department of Commerce, and their Mexican counterparts. The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Mexican Ambassador to the United States are also formally invited to the meeting.
The ten Border States represent a joint economy that ranks third in the world. The Border Governors Conference consists of six Mexican and four U.S. Border states. This long-standing conference allows vital regional and state to state dialogue. With 42 different ports of entry, the region also represents one of the most dynamic trade and border crossing regions in the world.