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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

Border security issues to be discussed

Officials from Mexico and scholars from several institutions will meet to discuss security issues on the U.S.-Mexico border and in Europe Thursday and Friday, March 21 and 22, at New Mexico State University.

table discussion open to the public will be held 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, in the university's Gerald Thomas Auditorium. The participants in the roundtable will address questions from the public and media about security issues on the border since Sept. 11, said Jason Ackleson, a college assistant professor of government who is helping coordinate the event.

Participants in the discussion will include Malcolm Anderson, a senior fellow of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, Belgium, and a visiting professor at New Mexico State; Jorge Chabat, a faculty member of the Center for Economic Research and Teaching in Mexico City; Jose Z. Garcia, professor of government and director of New Mexico State's Center for Latin American and Border Studies; Oscar Ibanez, on behalf of Mexican President Vicente Fox's representative on the U.S. - Mexico border; Mike Puccetti, representing the U.S. consul in Juarez, Mexico; and Victor Trevino, acting Mexican consul in El Paso.

A day-long workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, March 22, in the Social Living Center of Gerald Thomas Hall. It will include five public presentations on border issues: "Comparative Border Issues and Security," by Anderson, 9-9:30 a.m.; "The Discursive Construction of Security on the Frontier," by Ackleson and "Borders and the Changing Agenda of Security Issues," by Yosef Lapid, a New Mexico State professor of government, 9:30-10:45 a.m.; "The Mexican Perspective on Border Security," by Chabat, 11 a.m.- noon.

Also, "Regional and Civil Society Dimensions to Border Security," by Garcia, and "Reforming Police Forces in Mexico" by Ernesto Lopez Portillo, a professor at the National Institute of Penal Sciences in Mexico City and author of "Public Security in Mexico," 1:30-2:30 p.m.; and "Re-bordering America after Sept. 11," by Peter Andreas, an assistant professor of political science and international studies at Brown University, 2:30-3:30 p.m. The presentations will be followed by a closed work session for the scholars from 3:45 to 5 p.m..

Border issues have taken on international significance with the increase of immigration around the world, said Anderson, a specialist in justice and internal affairs of the European Union.

"In the last decade the Mediterranean has been described as Europe's Rio Grande, with very considerable pressure for people on its southern shore to cross, legally or illegally, into Europe. The European Union has looked to the United States' experience and it may be that the U.S. should look at Europe's on occasion," he said.

"There are a number of issues to be looked at and comparisons to be made. How do the different sides interact? How do security measures affect other areas, such as economic development and economic interaction. Do security measures inhibit cooperative activity in some areas, such as environmental protection?" he said.

Garcia said a successful border security policy will require extensive dialogue.

"There will have to be dialogue not only between the two sides of the border, but between various parties on each side," he said.

"Given the intense focus on security in the last few months, this is an opportune time to take advantage of the presence of Dr. Anderson, who is a renowned expert on border security issues in Europe, and of Dr. Ackleson, who recently completed his doctoral dissertation at the London School of Economics on the discourse of border security," he added.

For further information, contact Ackleson at (505) 646-4935 or by e-mail at jackleso@NMSU.Edu.

Jack King
March 13, 2002