Together with Tijuana mayor Carlos Bustamante and border entrepreneurs, on January 21 San Diego mayor Bob Filner dismissed U.S. State Department–issued travel-alert warnings for visitors to Tijuana and Mexicali.
According to Uniradioinforma, Filner said, "I believe that it is the result of nervousness and ignorance and I'll keep proving it with my example. This is the safest region between our two countries. Here I am today and that shows that I am confident in the security in the region."
During his presentation on integration between the two cities (including the notion of sharing the same area code), the mayor pledged to raise the issue in Washington, DC, for the need to improve the border-crossing issue to boost development and trade in the region.
"It is the biggest problem,” said Filner. “Washington doesn't understand it; in the City of Mexico [they] do not understand. The issue of the border crossing is the biggest problem. I met with Homeland Security, Border Patrol, CBP [and] ICE just a few days [ago] to make them understand the need to change the perspective on this, which has become the main obstacle in our relationship, and it is my highest priority."
To strengthen the relationship between the two cities, the Filner administration will open a liaison office that will operate from Tijuana’s 14-story VIA Corporate building — approximately three miles from the San Ysidro Port of Entry — beginning in February.
"We have common themes,” said Filner. “The people know who is the mayor, but we want you to know where to go to improve issues such as the border crossing [and] interactions between both countries. The relationship with Tijuana will be close and personal.”
SOURCE: Uniradio Informa