August 11, 2008

Conference to discuss effect of security on border life
By Gustavo Reveles Acosta / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 08/11/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

EL PASO -- International officials will discuss border security and its effects on commerce, technology and education at a two-day conference starting Monday at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The fifth-annual Border Security Conference will include panels and discussions on effective trade practices, security strategies and technologies, and the impact of education in the future of national security.

"As the largest border community in the world, El Paso is the ideal venue for this important conference," said U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, who is one of the organizers. "UTEP will host top-level officials from the United States and Mexico who will make presentations on key border issues and explore opportunities for greater cross-border collaboration to meet emerging challenges."

The event is free and open to the public.

Registration begins Monday morning.

Some of the prominent speakers expected to attend the conference include FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, ; Air Force Gen. Victor "Gene" Renuart, commander of the U.S. Northern Command; and Ralph Basham, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

On Tuesday, conference officials are also expected to announce the opening of the National Center for Border Security and Immigration at UTEP.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security-designated center will receive $6 million in federal money to research and develop technologies, tools and methodology in an effort to balance immigration, commerce and border security.

"We are pleased that UTEP will host this," President Diana Natalicio said. "The university's border location, its academic program and research strengths, and its partnerships with universities in Mexico provide a highly compatible backdrop for these important conversations."

The center will be created in partnership with the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Gustavo Reveles Acosta may be reached at; 546-6133.

Make plans

The fifth-annual Border Security Conference is Monday and Tuesday at UTEP.

The free event is open to the public.

Information: 747-8274 or log on to

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