Along with the social ones of putting aside those ideologues who would just as soon treat the border as an un-crossable moat (probably with electric wire and alligators thrown into the mix).
SPECIFICALLY, I’M REFERRING to a new customs inspections station being built in Tijuana. It is a facility that commercial truck drivers will have to pass through as they go from Mexico into the United States.
It is there that inspections will be conducted and officials from both nations will be given the chance to assure themselves that nothing illicit is being conducted with these transports.
What makes it unusual is that it literally will be staffed by officers of both Mexico and the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers will be working in a Mexican facility and will have a say in what goes on – although apparently the facility has been designed in a way so that the U.S. officials can enter (and exit) from the United States.
THEY WON’T SET foot on Mexican soil outside of the facility. So it gives the respect to national sovereignty that the ideologues would like to think reigns supreme over all other factors.
But it also puts forth the idea that the two nations need to work together if the border region (all 1,900-plus miles of it) is to have any real legitimacy.
The spirit being put in place at the border crossing facility at Otay Mesa (Tijuana to San Diego) is one that needs to extend all across the connecting points between the United States and Mexico. Although there also is a facility to be located at Laredo International Airport in Texas where Mexico officials would have the authority on U.S. soil to inspect shipments of automobile and airplane parts headed for Mexico.
Although what should be noted about this new facility for commercial truck shipments is that it is commerce – and not any desire for social justice – that is at work here.
IT IS A desire to reduce the amount of time that trucks spend being inspected that made officials think that the two countries could combine their inspections – rather than doing them, once upon leaving Mexico and right away again upon entering the United States.
When you’re shipping items of produce, freshness is a factor and more time being stuck in inspection could be the difference between prime specimens of fruits and vegetables and goods that will have to sell for a lesser price.
We’re also talking about $40 billion in goods that passed through this particular border crossing during the first 10 months of 2012 – not exactly an insignificant dollar amount.
Considering that some people are hoping that this particular facility can be expanded in the future to include nonperishable medical and consumer electronics products, this cooperation has the potential to benefit all of us in so many ways.