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CaliBaja Integration Working Group

Beginning in March 2020, the U.S.-Mexico border was partially closed for nearly 20 months due to health concerns arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Center for U.S- Mexican Studies at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, in partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego, launched a working group seeking to understand how the state of emergency affected different aspects of the cross-border relationship and explored the steps that might be taken to strengthen the CaliBaja region, which comprises parts of Southern California in the U.S. and Baja California in Mexico.

A key initiative of the working group is to facilitate dialogues between regional leaders from the public, private and social sectors on key topics for strengthening CaliBaja’s integration such as governance, cross-border infrastructure, healthcare systems, integrated supply chains, migration, energy, environment and many more.

The first stage of the working group was named “CaliBaja: Emerging Stronger after COVID-19” and was designed with the goal to understand the opportunity areas that were made visible by the COVID-19 pandemic, which helped us strengthen existing transborder mechanisms and, if necessary, create new ones. A series of 16 conversations were held to identify best practices and areas for improvement during this first phase. 

CaliBaja: Emerging Stronger after COVID-19  

As a result of the working group, a report comprising 13 brief chapters with specific recommendations on how to strengthen CaliBaja’s integration will be published.  

In addition to providing specific policy recommendations, each chapter includes an analysis of the pre-pandemic conditions for cooperation, what happened as a result of COVID-19 and the border shutdown, and the aspirations of CaliBaja’s stakeholders as an ideal state of transborder cooperation. We thank professor Paul Ganster for leading the report’s editing efforts.

CaliBaja: Moving Forward Together

The working group is currently meeting under a new name that intends to highlight the optimism and collaboration that marks the CaliBaja region. The group’s monthly conversations serve as a follow-up to the lessons learned during the first 20 months of the pandemic, the current state of recovery and the future for the region. Thus far, meetings were held on migration, the border reopening and public health. The main takeaways of each meeting will soon be available in English and Spanish.

The working group’s ultimate goal is to help build a region that is more resilient, collaborative, equitable and sustainable.

The working group and projects are supported by Otay-Tijuana Venture, L.L.C. and Sempra.

Working Group Members




Takeaways from meeting on “Medical Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities”
Aug. 23, 2022
English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Takeaways from meeting on "After Title 42"
June 21, 2022
English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Takeaways from meeting on "Expanding Opportunities in CaliBaja's Biotech Ecosystem"
May 17, 2022
English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Takeaways from meeting on "The Impact of the Border Closure on Binational Students and Current Challenges"
March 22, 2022
English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Takeaways from meeting on "The Energy Outlook in the CaliBaja Region"
Feb. 23, 2022
English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Takeaways from meeting on "The New COVID-19 Challenges in 2022"
Jan. 25, 2022
English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Takeaways from meeting on "Reopening the Border: Challenges, Opportunities and Impacts of the 20-month Closure"
Nov. 16, 2021
English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Takeaways from meeting on "Migration"
Oct. 26, 2021
English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)