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Special Relationship between San Diego and Tijuana on Matters of Trade and Security

Increased security along the southern border with Mexico is one of the compromises of immigration reform in the United States. For the cities of San Diego and Tijuana, however, greater security would reverse years of mutual collaboration in terms of economic development, security and trade.

A strategic partnership with Tijuana and other cities in Mexico is one of the priorities of the City of San Diego’s Economic Development Forum. This part of the southern border has the potential of becoming an economic powerhouse for Southern California and the rest of the Golden State. In the last few years, the forum has accomplished marketing and business expansion goals in the joint areas of tourism, recycling, electronics manufacturing, and telecommunications, and has also helped strengthen the business and employment immigration relationship between both areas.

One of the most significant initiatives of this joint economic forum is the International Gateway of the Americas. The City of San Diego’s Redevelopment Agency is interested in improving the San Ysidro border crossing so that it becomes a premier gateway for international commerce between the United States and Mexico.

An even more ambitious plan would be to enter a bid before the Olympic Committee to host the 2024 Summer Games to the San Diego-Tijuana region, welcoming athletes and entertainers with P-1 visas. Sports and tourism are not the only economic activities being pursued by these border cities: Aerospace and biotechnology are just two of the industries that are uniting San Diego and Tijuana.

Lower labor costs are definitely a big draw for California companies to move factories and call centers across the southern border into Mexico, but there is an even greater motivation for investing in Tijuana: Mexican shoppers. Cross-border shopping trips are a fact of life for residents of Southern California and Northern Mexico, and a greater influx of Mexican shoppers in San Diego helped the city survive the Great American Recession in the last few years.

On the issue of security, law enforcement agencies in San Diego and Tijuana are willing to work together to keep their region safe; however, they are concerned that interference from federal authorities and Washington politicians will get in the way of their vision.

Do you have concerns about the relationship that San Diego has with Tijuana? For any questions or assistance with immigration visas, naturalization or consulate processing, please contact the expert immigration lawyers at KS Visa Law. We offer free consultations and are more than happy to assist you in any way we can.

April 2024