Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for the 108th Congress [Updated October 26, 2004]   [open pdf - 124KB]

"In February 2001, Presidents Bush and Fox agreed to establish high-level talks to ensure safe, legal, and orderly migration flows between the countries, but the talks stalled after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, and border controls were later strengthened under the new Department of Homeland Security. In May 2003, following the deaths of 19 migrants in Texas, the countries agreed on joint measures to warn migrants of the dangers, and to prosecute smugglers. In January 2004, President Bush proposed a major immigration reform 'to match willing foreign workers with willing U.S. employers when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs.' The separate House and Senate versions of S. 2845, passed in October 2004, to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations, contain differing measures to increase immigration law enforcement personnel and to adopt more stringent border control and identity document standards. The United States and Mexico have a special relationship as neighbors and partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The friendly relationship has been strengthened by President Bush's meetings with President Fox but has been weakened by disagreements over Iraq and other issues. Major congressional issues are trade, migration/border security, drug trafficking, and political issues."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31876
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