First 100 Days Memo on U.S.-Mexico Policy

The Pacific Council is developing a "First 100 Days Memo on U.S.-Mexico Policy" to be distributed to the incoming Biden administration. The memo will outline policy recommendations on trade, immigration, and diplomacy, as well as how President-elect Joe Biden can strengthen the bilateral relationship from the outset of the next term. Leading up to the release of the memo, the Council will also publish fact sheets about these various policy areas.

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Read the first fact sheet on immigration.

Project Details

By producing viable, nonpartisan policy solutions and providing suggestions on meaningful U.S.-Mexico engagement, we are directly carrying out our mission by: 

  • Promoting community awareness of civic engagement in global issues
  • Building stronger local leadership on global issues
  • Contributing to better policy outcomes

Throughout this activity, we will engage ideas, projects, people, and organizations that support our experts’ recommendations with the goal of building awareness and improving the U.S.-Mexico relationship.


The Council’s existing Mexico Initiative aims to promote stronger ties between Mexico and the United States; build awareness among Angelenos of the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship; and give influential voices in politics, the press, and the business community a more nuanced understanding of Mexico.

The Council’s previous work on U.S.-Mexico policy and our built-in experience with key regional issues, as well as our geographical location near the U.S.-Mexico border, give us a unique position to make the best possible recommendations on how to move this relationship forward. In addition to an advisory board dedicated solely to U.S.-Mexico relations and serving as a regional secretariat for the Mexico-Los Angeles Commission, we have sent three delegations to Mexico City and one delegation to El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, Mexico, to explore the implementation of immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.

We’ve explored topics ranging from the AMLO administration, immigration, border issues, trade, and the economy. Our direct research through delegations and meetings coupled with member expertise will serve as the bedrock and lens through which our First 100 Days Memo will be constructed.


The First 100 Days Memo on U.S.-Mexico Relations was informed by a group of experts and interested citizens whose experience with Mexico spanned decades, presidential administrations, and fields of work and study. The following individuals participated in group meetings in October and November 2020 to inform the final memo outcome:

Dr. Robert Banks, Clinical Associate Professor of Communication Center on Public Diplomacy, USC and Former Planning and Coordination Officer, Office of Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

Mr. Gray Beverly, Managing Director, Dittoemes & Company

The Honorable Robert C. Bonner, Former Commissioner, U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Former Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency; Former U.S. District Judge; and Former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California

Dr. Richard D. Downie, Managing Director, Delphi Strategic Consulting and Former Director, Department of Defense, Perry Center

Mr. William McIlhenny, Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund United States, Former Director, National Security Council, and Former Director of Policy, Planning, and Coordination, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

Mr. Patrick C. Schaefer, Former Senior Vice President, Center for Global Trade and Foreign Investment, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute and former Director, Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Dr. Pamela K. Starr, Director, U.S.-Mexico Network and University Fellow, USC Center on Public Diplomacy

Mr. Seth Stodder, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP, Former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Border, Immigration and Trade Policy

Mr. Salvador Villar, President, Mercado Plus

We would also like to thank the leaders of the Mexico Advisory Committee, The Honorable Michael C. Camuñez (Chair) and Ms. Mary Ann Walker (Vice Chair) for commissioning this report and sharing their expertise in interviews and group meetings; and The David and Lucille Packard Foundation for funding the Pacific Council’s efforts to improve U.S.-Mexico relations. Special thanks to Ms. Kimberly Breier, Former Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Dr. Abraham F. Lowenthal, President Emeritus, Pacific Council on International Policy and Founding Director, Latin American Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Inter-American Dialogue; and Judge Ashley Tabaddor, Judge, U.S. Immigration Court (interviewed in a personal capacity) for providing their insights in 1:1 interviews.

Get Involved

To learn more about this project, contact Ashley McKenzie at To write an article about Mexico or U.S.-Mexico relations, trade, immigration, public diplomacy, or other relevant topics for our online Magazine, contact Justin Chapman at

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