Improved Economic Relations with San Diego and Tijuana Means More Professional Opportunities for Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Workers

In a recent NY Times article, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner spoke about improving economic relations between Tijuana and San Diego. Mr. Filner has taken steps to make progress in improving these relations by opening up an office in Tijuana in order to work closely with businesses and the mayor’s office in Tijuana. When he opened San Diego’s Tijuana office this year, Mr. Filner spoke in grand terms about the future of cross-border relations. “Dos ciudades, pero una region — we are two cities, but one region,” he said, using the phrase popular among those who want more collaboration in the area. San Diego would put in a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, he said, but only to host jointly with Tijuana.

“We need to make the border the center, not the end — but the biggest problem we have is not security, it is openness and communication,” Mr. Filner said in an interview in his City Hall office. “People have to understand that the infrastructure that we need should be an important part of any discussion on immigration. The volume here is so incredible, yet nobody understands how much this matters. People can’t go back and forth, and we’re losing out.”
“The political buzz made it so that there is a self-evident truth that the border was out of control, and that national stigma remains,” said Paul Ganster, the director of the Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias at San Diego State University. “It might make people from Iowa feel better knowing that it takes hours to cross the border, but a better approach is to fix the border so it functions for legitimate purposes. Right now we’re just penalizing ourselves with huge inefficiencies.”
While several former mayors have had warm relations with Tijuana officials, Mr. Filner has made cross-border relations a centerpiece of his administration, appointing a binational affairs director and mentioning Mexico at nearly every opportunity. In his inaugural speech, he congratulated the Tijuana soccer team, the Xolos, for winning the Mexican league title the day before, calling the team “our champions.” And while the Olympic Committee has already rejected the cross-border bid, Mr. Filner is not deterred.

By creating such dialogue and making strides to improve the economic relations between the two cities, more work will be needed by those who can work bi-nationally. Mr. Filner’s emphasis on increasing our economic ties is exactly the kind of thing that will help stimulate an economy that is still in recovery for many parts of the country.

For many professionals in Mexico, the TN visa allows someone to work for a company in the U.S. under one of many professional categories. For those companies that are developing and improving their economic ties to Mexico, this opens more opportunities to take advantage of the building economic ties that Mr. Filner and his office is striving for with Tijuana.

Those who are not TN professionals have other options that may be open as well, given all of the talk about economic movement. The E-2 Investor visa is another way to become involved in business ventures in San Diego. With so much trade going on and the push to open up the border to make it easier on trade, an E-2 investor visa is another way to take advantage of the open climate with trade and business right now.

Right now is a great time to become more involved in making the border stronger with greater economic ties between San Diego and Tijuana. If you are interested in knowing your options and how you can take advantage of this exciting time, our office can provide you the guidance in making your professional and economic goals a reality.