Welcome to the US/Mexico Border Counties Coalition!

Who We Are

The U.S./Mexico Border Counties Coalition is a non-partisan, consensus-based policy and technical forum founded to address the challenges facing county governments located on the United States/Mexico border. Issues resulting from the enormous impacts of immigration, legal and illegal, along with concerns ranging from trade, border security, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, to public health, environmental health, social services and criminal justice have disproportionate consequences for counties along the international border with Mexico.

Recognizing this, county government officials in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas came together in 1998 to attract and retain the full attention of the federal government to address vital border issues and allocate the appropriate federal resources to this critical international border region.

The Coalition currently includes membership from most of the twenty-four counties contiguous to the U.S./Mexico border as well as interested associate members from the private sector. The Coalition meets twice a year – once in Washington, D.C. and once at a border location.

What We Are Doing

In 1999, the Coalition secured a grant from the Department of Justice to study the cost to border counties of providing services to undocumented immigrants in the areas of law enforcement, criminal justice, and emergency medical care. The study, released in February 2001 and titled Illegal Immigrants in U.S./Mexico Border Counties, has provided much needed factual data to Congress regarding these costs. An update of this study was released in March 2008 and has received wide notice.

Funding for a similar study looking at the cost of providing health care to undocumented immigrants in border counties was obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services and resulted in a study titled “Medical Emergency:Costs of Uncompensated Care in Southwest Border Counties." This study, which was released in September 2002 and is available on our website, found that border counties spend $200 million per year to provide emergency medical services to undocumented immigrants. As a result of this study, Congress included $1 billion over four years in the Medicare Modernization Act to reimburse health care providers for the cost of providing emergency medical care to undocumented immigrants. The Coalition is currently working to reauthorized this program .

The Coalition’s report entitled At the Cross Roads: Border Counties in Transition, also available on our website, was released in March 2006 and has gained national prominence as an authoritative resource for border facts and figures. The report looks at the twenty-four counties on the U.S./Mexico border as if they were a 51st state and compares its rankings in areas such as income, employment, education, health care and housing to the rest of the border states and the nation.

The Coalition is actively engaged with members of Congress regarding the federal obligation on the border. One of the Coalition’s primary goals is to preserve funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) and the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative. Most recently, the Coalition helped develop language that is included in the current Transportation reauthorization bill that would reimburse border counties for the impact of the increased presence of federal agencies on their county roads. The Coalition is also consulting with the White House and Congress on a number of other border initiatives including border crossing issues, immigration reform, and border security issues.


Attached Document or FileCoalition fact sheet

    The USMBCC annual Border Conference originally scheduled for October 17 and 18 in Sunland Park, NM has been postponed. We hope to reschedule this event in the near future. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
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