Alan Bersin Urges the Doubling of U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing Sites

Former superintendent of San Diego schools addresses 22 mayors at summit in San Diego.

Saying “we are all border-landers,” Alan Bersin told members of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association on Friday that the number of ports of entry between the two countries needs to more than double to 100.

Bersin—the former superintendent of San Diego Unified School District now serving as the assistant secretary of international affairs for the Department of Homeland Security—kicked off the third binational summit of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association alongside San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante.

Bersin spoke to a group of 22 mayors—13 from the U.S. and nine from Mexico—and said the relationships formed between the two countries will shape the “future” of the North American economy.

“We need to go from 46 ports of entries to a 100 ports of entries and we need to do that over the course of 40 years,” he told the audience at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. “What we are talking about is a North America that is able to provide a quality of life to our people in ways that are dramatic.”

Bersin—alongside Sanders, Bustamante and El Paso Mayor John Cook who previously hosted a summit—also spoke about the importance of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association.

Sanders said his relationship with Bustamante has developed over the years and the two often work together.

“I can’t remember a time when our cities worked more closely together,” said Sanders, who noted the two will take a trip to Washington, D.C., in the coming weeks to advocate for border projects.

The two also noted the importance of “one voice” when bringing forth ideas to Mexico City or Washington.

“We can lobby on both sides of the border,” Bustamante said. “There are lot of people from my country that live here and there are a lot of U.S. citizens that live in Tijuana.

“A together voice gives us more clout and credibility.”

The 22 mayors planned sessions throughout the day focused on trade, policy, immigration and tourism.

Bersin said the young association is developing a border region that’s needed in the future.

“The future is not what it was and need to build on that,” he said. “There’s a certain amount of competition that will always exist but there is more in common. The respect is mutual and we need to build on that. The challenges that are better coming will require these relationships.

“We are all border-landers,” he said. “We are all people who live and work on this border.”

Ed Sorrels August 24, 2012 at 07:02 PM
" Double Border Crossings" Really stupid idea, What we actually do is halve them, making border more secure and easier to control, allowing for more drug arrests and more illegal alien arrests and more discovery and confiscation of illegal copy items. We should have done this years ago,
John Galt August 24, 2012 at 08:14 PM
John Galt August 24, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Who is going to pay for this? Let me guess... U.S. for both sides. Bad idea.
Stephen Wilkinson August 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Why don't we just annex Mexico as the 51st state already ... plus then we can start taxing them.
Batman August 24, 2012 at 09:11 PM
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 an organization was formed called "9-11 Truth" who's goal was to prove a conspiracy involving our own government. Although I myself suspect a conspiracy, I don't believe the conspirtators will be found in the rubble of the demolished buildings. Answer these questions and you will find the conspirators: - Who let these illegal alien terrorists into the country to begin with? - Who let them stay here unchecked for years on end? - Who let them get away with taking flying lessons? - Who is aiding and abeting the next terrorist attack by continuing to leave the borders wide open?
Kevin George August 24, 2012 at 09:21 PM
It was Sheriff Bill Gore when he was still in the big leagues? "However, in a 900-page report, the House and Senate intelligence committees criticize the pre-Sept. 11 counter terrorism analysis done by the Agent Bill Gore in San Diego, noting that intelligence failures were especially obvious there, where two hijackers were known to a longtime FBI informant.
Jimmy Sanders August 24, 2012 at 09:47 PM
We already have several hundred border crossing sites. Oh wait, my bad, Bersin probably meant "legal" crossing sites!
Sarah Riccitelli August 26, 2012 at 01:01 AM
@ Batman & Kevin- Arab terrorists committed 9/11, not Mexican. Mexico had nothing to do w/it. Stay on topic please.
Jay Berman August 27, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Bersin ... typical government hack ... getting appointed to jobs he has no qualification for ... Just like Panetta .. time to get rid of these hacks and put people in positions they actually know something about ..
Censorship? August 27, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Censorship? 9:39 am on Monday, August 27, 2012 Jennifer Vigil - Why are you not printing comments on the Mansion Mysteries that support that Rebecca Zahau committed suicide because she hurt Max Shacknai? Why are you only printing comments that state the Shacknais or Romanos killed RZ, when they have been cleared by police and her death ruled a suicide? Why don't you care about the death of a little 6-year old boy???
Censorship? August 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Jennifer Vigil - Why are you not printing comments on the Mansion Mysteries that support that Rebecca Zahau committed suicide because she hurt Max Shacknai? Why are you only printing comments that state the Shacknais or Romanos killed RZ, when they have been cleared by police and her death ruled a suicide? Why don't you care about the death of a little 6-year old boy???
Batman August 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Anyone from any country can walk across an open border. Only 60% of the illegal aliens in our country are Mexican.
Jay Berman August 27, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Mr. Batman .. where did you get that only 60% are Mexican ? Is someone down there with a counter ?
Susan Brinchman August 27, 2012 at 06:24 PM
If Bersin recommends it, I strongly suggest exploring what is behind these recommendations. As a teacher who worked under the failed "Blueprint for Progress" when Bersin was superintendent, I saw that "the spin" is often financially motivated, political, and/or flawed. For instance, some felt, driving the older teachers out of the system because they were more expensive, so the school district could hire two (rookies) for one (experienced) teacher. In addition, it is my understanding that he owned land near the border. Then, there was the port district fiasco...
Kevin George August 27, 2012 at 07:15 PM
– Fifty-eight percent of the illegal immigrant population is from Mexico. (Pew) http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/15/facts-on-immigration-in-the-united-states/
George Mitrovich August 27, 2012 at 07:19 PM
A "typical government hack." Really? Let's see, Alan Bersin is a Harvard and Yale Law graduate, Rhodes Scholar, U.S. Attorney, California's Secretary of Education, San Diego's Superintendent of Schools, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Under-Secretary at Homeland Security, who just happens to speak Spanish. But, yea, Jay Berman must be right, Bersin's is just a "typical government hack." Would Mr. Berman mind telling us who he is?
Jay Berman August 27, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Goes from government job (appointment) to job .. education to border ... like Panetta as sec of defense or Napalitano as sec of homeland security ...
Jay Berman August 27, 2012 at 07:52 PM
How can you have "facts" like this when there is no one counting ? They have been saying 8 to 12 million illegals here for the last 10 years ... the fact is, it is impossible to say how many illegal aliens are here, and how they break down by where they are from or race ... simply impossible. One thing is for sure, illegal immigration has negatively affected the continental 48 states .. the flow may have slowed down but they are still coming .... last few weeks I think 2 or 3 boatloads were caught .. wonder how many get through .. who's counting ?
Things I Learned August 27, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Alan Bersin is an atypical government hack.
ibbarbara August 28, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Can someone please make "Censorship?" go away? Tired of reading this same comment on articles that have NOTHING to do with what he/she is saying. Where is the censorship on that?????
Affenhauer August 30, 2012 at 02:44 PM
That would be one big-@$$ed state. I think Mexico already has its own states - just annex them all as they are...
Fuku Jones September 07, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Me too. The damage no-nothing Bersin did to the schools is San Diego is legend. He is a loyal dog to whatever master has a half-baked reform scheme that needs a bully to push it thru. If Bersin is involved, look for the money going into his pocket, the babes into his bed and the bodies over which he is crawling.
Fuku Jones September 07, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Oh yeah, all those degrees and rich friends, talk to the man for a minute and you will see how empty all his "education" is. I've done it. Bersin, a rimless cypher, as my Brooklyn granddad would have called him.
Fuku Jones September 07, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Poor George, he has confused the good with the powerful. While it does take effort to get into all those schools, it isn't intellectual effort, it's social connection. Many brilliant people never get to Harvard. Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers makes a liar of anyone who is impressed with the search tag, Harvard, or Oxford. Empty, useless elites. Who from these places works for justice? Hah!


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