For Immediate Release: February 14, 2001
Contact: Demetrios Papademetriou, (202) 939-2277
Deborah Meyers, (202) 939-2314

On the eve of President George W. Bush's trip to Mexico to meet with President Vicente Fox, a distinguished panel of U.S. and Mexican experts from across the political spectrum released a report today calling on the two leaders to begin discussions on a new approach to the challenging issue of U.S.-Mexico migration.

"An historic opportunity exists for both Presidents to capitalize on the increasing economic integration of our nations and change the terms of the often contentious discussion on migration issues from one of confrontation and unilateralism to one of neighborly partnership and cooperation," stated Thomas "Mack" McLarty, one of the U.S.-Mexico Binational Migration Panel Co-Chairs. Mr. McLarty is Vice-Chairman of Kissinger McLarty Associates and former White House Chief of Staff and Special Envoy for the Americas.

The Co-Chair of the Mexican delegation, Andres Rozental, President of Rozental and Associates and former Deputy Foreign Minister of Mexico, remarked, "President Fox has made it clear that migration will be a Mexican priority on the bilateral agenda, and that Mexico is willing to do its fair share to craft and carry out a new arrangement that benefits both countries. This means that Mexico stands ready to work with the U.S. to make migration from Mexico to the U.S. more legal and more orderly, to cooperate in the border region to crack down on smuggling and save lives, and to strengthen Mexico's economy to reduce migration pressures over time. Both nations will benefit from a bold new approach to an issue that has been a source of friction for too long."

The U.S. delegation's other co-chair, Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Camden, N.J., and Chair of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, commented that "both countries now recognize the limitations of the current approach to enforcement and the tragic results of driving migrants into the hands of a migration black market. By making visas and legal status more widely available to Mexican migrants, we will better protect the human rights of vulnerable migrants while helping the economies of both countries expand."

In a memo sent to both Presidents earlier this week, the three co-chairs wrote, "Record employment and worker shortages, coupled with U.S. labor needs as its baby boom generation moves into retirement, make clear the need for a new approach to migration." The letter urges the two nations' leaders to craft a "migration grand bargain" transforming the way this issue is viewed and based on the belief that migration can be made safe, legal, orderly, and predictable and that the border will be managed better when it is managed cooperatively. The report lays out four fundamental and integrated principles for a new agenda:

  • Improved treatment for Mexican migrants by making visas and legal status more widely available.
  • Helping to reduce unauthorized migration by cooperatively cracking down on criminal smuggling organizations and saving lives by preventing dangerous border crossing.
  • Jointly building a viable border region.
  • Targeting development initiatives on regions of high out-migration and strengthening the Mexican economy over time, thereby reducing migration pressure.

Click here for the report
Read the Memo to the Presidents

The U.S.-Mexico Migration Panel has been impaneled by the International Migration Policy Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) and the Faculty of International Relations of the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM). Dr. Demetrios G. Papademetriou of CEIP and Professor Rafael Fernández de Castro of ITAM are the Panel's conveners. The Panel's composition is as follows:

United States Chair Mexico Chair
Mr. Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, III The Honorable Andrés Rozental
Kissinger McLarty Associates Vice Chairman President, Rozental & Associates
  Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Mexico
Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio  
Bishop of Camden Diocese of Camden  
U.S. Convener Mexican Convener
Dr. Demetrios Papademetriou Dr. Rafael Fernández de Castro
Senior Associate and Co-Director Professor and Director International Migration Policy Program Departmento de Estudios Internacionales
Carnegie Endowment for Int'l. Peace Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
Study Group Members*  
T. Alexander Aleinikoff
Senior Associate, Int'l Migration Policy Pgm.
Carnegie Endowment for Int'l Peace, and Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
Frank D. Bean
Professor, Department of Sociology
University of California, Irvine Department of Sociology

Jorge G. Castañeda**
Foreign Minister of Mexico

Eugenio Clariond
President & CEO Grupo IMSA
Juan Diez-Canedo
President & CEO CINTRA, S.A. DE C.V.
Stephen Donehoo
Managing Director
Kissinger McLarty Associates
Remedios Gómez Arnau
Secretaria Académica e Investigadora
Centro de Investigaciones sobre América del Norte
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Antonia Hernandez
President and General Counsel
Mexican American Legal Defense
& Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Luis Herréra Lasso
Director Grupo Coppan, S. C.
International Consultants
Randy Johnson
Vice President, Labor and Employee Benefits
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
B. Lindsay Lowell
Director of Research
Institute for the Study of Int'l Migration
Georgetown University
Eliseo Medina
Executive Vice President
Service Employees International Union AFL-CIO, CLC
Gustavo Mohar***
Coordinator for Migration Policy and Consular Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico
Norma Samaniego
Directora General
Santa Fe Consultores
Jorge Santibañez
El Colegio de la Frontera Norte

Frank Sharry
Executive Director
National Immigration Forum

Rodolfo Tuirán
General Secretary Consejo Nacional de Población
Fabienne Venet
General Director
Sin Fronteras I.A.P.

*Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.
**Panel Member until November 30, 2000.
*** Panel Member until February 5, 2001