On September 10, 2001, Presidents George W. Bush and Vincente Fox were involved in an international negotiation aimed at reaching a fairer, more beneficial immigration policy for their two neighboring nations. The need for a guest worker program in the United States to accommodate workers looking for positions from Mexico, where the job market had become sparse, was being discussed as well as economic options to encourage job growth in Mexico itself, such as the expansion of international companies to include Mexican plants and locations (Business Week 2001). The negotiations, in fact, were focused significantly on treating immigration as an economic issue and not a political one; although observers stills saw the influence of politics on the discussions, for all major intents, economic growth and stability were the aim of both administrations.
The Bush-Fox immigration deal never progressed farther than those talks, however, because U.S. foreign policy would be significantly changed by the events of September 11, 2001. For the immediate period after 9/11, U.S. policies were focused on the capture of terrorists and the prevention of another attack on American soil. Such emphasis on foreign terrorists resulted in a relative amnesia on the part of the Bush administration regarding the halcyon era of immigration deals with Mexico; while Bush's focus on the military and security options for post-9/11 international relations was understandable, the issue of immigration reform and a more stable political economy with Mexico remains one of the nation's most important conversations to be had in this era of international relations.
Security issues have influenced the migratory patters on the southern border of the U.S., with increased numbers of border patrol and even citizen-watch groups patrolling the border for illegal entry into the States (Trejos 2006). Such concern about the flow of immigrants, especially with regard to their impact on the economies of states (in the form of jobs, benefits, and spending) is an important issue which needs addressing (ibid.