Recent violence has fueled concerns among U.S. officials that Americans are becoming fair game for Mexican drug gangs seeking control of smuggling routes into the United States creating national & international attention on border violence in the Southwest. Press reports state that border related drug and gang violence continues to increase in the Southwest including in New Mexico. New Mexico rose from 4th worse state for violent crime last year to 2nd worst this year.
For more than two years, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials have been warning that the rise in violence along the southwestern border could eventually target U.S. citizens and spread into this country. The violence poses what officials call a "serious threat" to law enforcement officers, first responders and residents along the 1,951-mile border. According to the State Department: 79 U.S. citizens were killed last year in Mexico, up from 35 in 2007. In Juarez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, 23 Americans were killed in 2009, compared with two in 2007.
In response, in February of 2010, the New Mexico Legislature Joint Memorial called on New Mexico Tech to establish the Border Security Center for Research, Education, Training and Technical Assistance to aid in countering border violence.
Border Security's Vision is to be recognized as New Mexico's primary source of expertise on Southwest border security issues, to become an invaluable partner for successful competitive proposals, and to be an effective advocate for public safety and economic development funding, particularly in southern New Mexico.