NUEVO LAREDO, Tamaulipas – The state governments in Baja California, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon are coming together to create the “Fondo de Fronteridad” (Border Fund).
They argue that the fund is needed in case of a massive deportation of Mexican citizens, once U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump takes his oath of office.
The four states have met in Mexicali, Baja California Norte, to discuss immigration policy, coordinate fiscal policies and push for more federal income. They recognize, however, that additional funding will have to come from their individual state budgets.
During the meeting, the Governor of Nuevo Leon, Jaime Rodriguez Calderon “advised about the necessity of modifying the fiscal coordination diagram to financially support those states where the deported are mostly sent.”
The plan of action would be activated not only to help Mexican citizens deported by U.S. authorities, but also immigrants that want to stay in the border region because of the impossibility of crossing into the U.S., according to a Government of Nuevo Leon press release.
Present during the meeting, in addition to Rodriguez, were the Governors of Chihuahua, Javier Corral; Tamaulipas, Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, and from Baja California, Francisco Vega de Lamadrid.
“Around 120,000 people come to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and when they see they can’t cross to the United States they decide to stay and live here, (and) the same happens in Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Mexicali or Tijuana,” Rodriguez said. “Is not an isolated problem, it is not only a border problem, it’s a problem for the whole country. And, obviously, we also need to work towards the future and stop depending on what the U.S. Government does or doesn’t do.”
Corral said that the northern Mexico states do not have a big enough budget to deal with a mass deportation program by the United States. He also said the four states do not have the capacity to confront a massive deportation program or even guarantee “decent treatment” for Mexicans coming back to their country – should Trump fulfil his campaign proposals.
Garcia Cabeza de Vaca said that to be ready is a must.
“We honestly need to analyze how federals funds are distributed and be able to find real solutions for what we live on a daily basis.” Garcia Cabeza de Vaca said.
He added that from January to October, more than 50,000 people have been deported from the U.S. to Tamaulipas.
In January, representatives from the four states will hold a follow-up meeting in Nuevo Laredo to analyze specific problems and define a common strategy. No other details have been given at this stage.
The idea is for the border alliance to present the concept in front of the rest of the Governors in Mexico, explaining the necessity of a new way to allocate funds from the federal budget, and to have an open forum so members of the National Governors’ Conference (Conago) can discuss all the proposals coming from the states and not only the ones expressed at a national level.
“It has been so many years living under the same concept, a same way of doing things, and I do believe we have the conditions to start a debate,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said he looks forward to the Conago becoming an organization where “we can debate, think, project, and make it possible for economic statistics to not be the only base upon which the federal government makes a decision.
Meanwhile, Nuevo Laredo’s Municipal President, Enrique Rivas Cuellar, took oath as vice president of an organization comprising cities with more than 100.000 people but less than 500.000 population. It is called the National Associations for Cities and Mayors (ANAC), and it met in Saltillo, Coahuila, on Saturday.
“This is what it represents for Nuevo Laredo to be back as a leader and taking positions inside the national context as a result of the importance that the city represents for the national economy and the commercial exchange with a country (U.S.) which soon will have new rules,” Rivas said.
Rivas said he hopes the city will have enough access to solve problems and learn from various success stories, but also realize that its function is to have a bigger participation between government and society, and doing it with absolute certainty.
ANAC is an organization that aims to improve the professionalization of municipal officials, as well as confront challenges and be recognized for its transparency, honesty and results.
Present during the meeting in Coahuila were Renán Barrera Concha, national coordinator for mayors at the National Action Party main offices; Enrique Vargas del Villar, National Chairman for ANAC; and Isidro López Villarreal, National Chairman for Mexico’s Municipalities.