Officials meet to improve border flow and security

| 3/28/2003

Governors from Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico along with four governors, mayors and others from Mexico pledged March 27 to work toward a cross-border security network in a time of terrorism, The Associated Press reports.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed an agreement with Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry allowing cross-deputization of state law enforcement officials. It gives officers from New Mexico authority to enter Oklahoma at that state's request and vice versa. Richardson said he's already signed a similar agreement with Arizona and is working on one with Texas.

Richardson said many Mexican government representatives have complained that traffic along the border has been disrupted to a "highly uncomfortable" extent since the war with Iraq began.

He said U.S. officials heard suggestions from Mexican officials on how to get the border flow back to normal.

The New Mexico governor said John Denko, director of public safety, would soon arrange a meeting with law enforcement officials from other border states to improve the dialogue on the U.S. side.

U.S. State Department and Homeland Security officials also attended the meeting.

Richardson said those departments and the White House recognized "that we've got to have a dialogue along the border in light of the war with Iraq."