Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cross-Border Tensions Are Seen at Governors’ Conference

There were hearty handshakes and friendly words, but the annual binational conference of border governors wound up here Monday as divided as it has ever been, as well as being a little short on governors. The final communiqué showed a common vision among the participants about cracking down on violence along the border between the United States and Mexico, changing immigration laws and promoting economic development in the border zone. But it was the no-shows that made clear that cross-border unity was seriously frayed. Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona was supposed to host the 28th annual conference in Phoenix, but all six Mexican border governors refused to attend in protest of the immigration crackdown she signed into law. After Ms. Brewer canceled her session, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico stepped in to organize a conference of his own, with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California as co-host. Ms. Brewer stayed away, as did a fellow Republican, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Then Mr. Schwarzenegger canceled because he was ill and sent his lieutenant governor, Abel Maldonado, a fellow Republican. That left Mr. Richardson as the lone United States governor in the discussions...more

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