The Texas congressional delegation should seek an international treaty between Mexico and the United States that enables border states to enter into their own cross-border collaborative institutional arrangements to solve local policy issues. When something or someone crosses the border, it should not unavoidably become a federal matter, where the locals are shoved aside with no voice on the ultimate outcome. The treaty should permit the creation of special cross-border regions with a certain degree of autonomy—“Ameregions” that can enter into their own international agreements. Federalism should reinforce local solutions to local problems, not impede them.
Payan is a professor of political science at UT-El Paso.