Washington, D.C.— At a meeting this afternoon, Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva and 11 other Members of Congress, who represent border districts, met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to discuss relations with Mexico and the situation along the border.
“I was encouraged by Secretary Clinton’s tone and her planned visit to Mexico speaks volumes about the United States taking steps to find solutions for this situation,” stated Grijalva. “She provided an outline that Mexico is a friend and strategic partner for security.”
Secretary Clinton met with Members of border states on the eve of her trip to Monterrey, Mexico. She acknowledged that border violence is a shared responsibility of both countries and that relations with Mexico is vital to solving not only the current violence but long term issues like trade, immigration and cooperation.
The meeting with Secretary Clinton occurred the same day President Obama released a proposal to invest in the border areas in order to address the increased level of violence, particularly in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, and the impact that it is having on the communities on both sides of the border.
The U.S. plans for the border:
•Under the Merida Initiative, investing $700 million this year to work in collaboration with Mexico on law enforcement and judicial capacity.
•DOJ, DHS, and Treasury are all ramping up personnel and efforts directed at the Southwest border.
•Renewing the commitment to reduce the demand for illegal drugs here at home.
Finally, to effectively disrupt illegal flows of weapons and bulk cash to Mexico and to ensure that our border security remains resistant to the flow of drugs and violence into the United States, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is increasing its efforts by:
•Relocating 100 personnel to the SW border in the next 45 days, using dedicated resources from the economic stimulus, to fortify its Project Gunrunner aimed at disrupting arms trafficking between the U.S. and Mexico that has resulted in ATF referring more than 1,500 defendants for prosecution involving more than 12,000 weapons; and
•Continuing the eTrace Initiative which works with Mexican officials to forensically track weapons used in drug cartel violence. In FY07, Mexico submitted approximately 1,112 guns for tracing that originated in TX, AZ and CA.