Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress [February 15, 2011]   [open pdf - 677KB]

"The United States and Mexico have a close and complex bilateral relationship, with extensive economic linkages as neighbors and partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In recent years, security issues have dominated U.S.-Mexican relations, as the United States has supported Mexican President Felipe Calderón's campaign against drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) through bilateral security cooperation initiatives including the Mérida Initiative, an anti-crime and counterdrug assistance package first funded in FY2008. Immigration and border security have also returned to the forefront of the bilateral agenda since Arizona enacted a controversial state law against illegal immigration (S.B. 1070) on April 23, 2010. In response to rising concerns about border security, President Obama deployed 1,200 National Guard troops to support law enforcement efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border and the 111th Congress approved $600 million in supplemental funds for border security (P.L. 111-230). [...] Congress has maintained an active interest in Mexico with counternarcotics, border, and trade issues dominating the agenda. Congress has appropriated some $1.5 billion in assistance for Mexico under the Mérida Initiative and expressed concern about the slow delivery of that assistance. The 112th Congress is likely to maintain a keen interest in how implementation of the Mérida Initiative and related border security initiatives are proceeding, particularly now that National Guard troops are on the Southwest border. Congress may also consider proposals for comprehensive immigration reform. On the trade front, Congress is likely to maintain interest in how the Obama Administration moves to resolve ongoing disputes related to trucking and tuna with Mexico, facilitate commerce along the U.S.-Mexico border, and deepen cooperation under NAFTA."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32724
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