"The United States and Mexico have a special relationship under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which removes trade and investment barriers between the countries. The friendly relationship has been strengthened by President Bush's meet- ings with President Fox in Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Major issues of concern to Congress are trade, immigration, drug trafficking, and political rights. [...] On March 4-5, 2002, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and other U.S. officials visited Mexico to explore opportunities to improve border security. On March 9, 2002, Mexican authorities announced the arrest of drug lord Benjamin Arellano-Felix and the probable death of his brother Ramon Arellano Felix in a police shoot-out a month earlier. On March 14, 2002, the authorities announced the arrest of Manuel Herrera Barraza, another key figure in the Arellano Felix organization. On the days prior to President Bush's upcoming visit to Monterrey, Mexico, on March 22, 2002, to attend the International Conference on Financing for Development and to discuss bilateral issues with President Fox, press accounts suggest that he was considering proposals to create a new border control agency and that he would offer to provide $30 million in U.S. assistance for poor areas in Mexico under the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Progress."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10070