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Border 2010: The Geo-political Reality

"Among the states of northern Mexico, Tamaulipas is less developed in regard to policies and institutions supporting innovation, science and technology. The northern states, and specifically the border cities, are the best-positioned regions for innovation. This is confirmed by the sustainable competitive index, government programs, universities and research centers." 3 – Jorge Carrillo, COLEF Tijuana

The U.S.-Mexico border region forms a uniquely intertwined, binational, biliterate and bicultural community. The international boundary between the United States and Mexico is often thought of as a delimiting factor, however, it may also be considered a line that unites and defines a cross-border international region critical to the future of the United States and Mexico.

The border region is formed by six Mexican states (from east to west, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora and Baja California Norte), which border on four of the United States (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California). While these 10 states form one of the most important international boundaries in the world, they are marked by distinct regional issues which complicate their study.

The U.S.-Mexico border next to California has a unique geography and socio-economic history, while the U.S.-Mexico border next to Texas, which is shared with four Mexican States, has a very different micro-regional variation. The U.S.-Mexico border next to Texas is not a single homogenous region. About 1,000 miles in length, the U.S.-Mexico border next to Texas from Laredo to El Paso shares regional homogeneity due to environmental similarity, while different geo-demographic regionalisms define the proposed study area from Laredo to Brownsville.

It is unlikely that any single institution of higher education can or will study the entire border area. Therefore, the Texas Center for Border and Transnational Study located at UTB/TSC can play an important collaborative and anchoring role at the lower or eastern end of the border. Its institutional partners along the remainder of the border will serve the cross-border regions from Laredo/Nuevo Laredo to Tijuana/San Diego. However, collaborative studies will be conducted that encompass the entire length of the border.


Map of the U.S.-Mexico Border Region 


3 Jorge Carrillo, COLEF 2009

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