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What Would A 'Frictionless Border' Between San Diego And Tijuana Look Like?

Cars wait to enter the U.S. from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near San Diego on Aug. 1, 2011.
Jose Luis Jiménez
Cars wait to enter the U.S. from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near San Diego on Aug. 1, 2011.

What Would A 'Frictionless Border' Between San Diego And Tijuana Look Like?
GUESTS:Mary Walshok, UC San Diego Extension Jill Replogle, KPBS Border Reporter

A new report from the University of California San Diego advocates for a "frictionless" U.S.-Mexico border. This would allow commercial and pedestrian traffic to flow more quickly between San Diego and Tijuana, the report says.

Its authors believe that such a change in diplomatic and economic strategy would enable the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing to greatly accelerate binational economic growth and prosperity, rather than serving as a choke-point of congestion.

Mary Walshok, co-author of the report and dean of UCSD Extension, discussed the concept Thursday on KPBS Midday Edition:

"We need to begin to see our borders as economic arenas, not as national security arenas. We need Department of Commerce and Department of Labor to weigh in because the ways in which economic zones are developing in the 21st century contradict the current geographical boundaries we are living with."

The 25-page report, "From Border Barriers to Bi-National Promise: What the Future Could Be with

a Frictionless Border,” determined that a more efficient border could generate up to $7.2 billion in economic growth between the United States and Mexico.

It was prepared by the Creative Class Group, a New York-based urban-studies consulting firm, in partnership with Global CONNECT, a research division of UCSD Extension.