Nelson Balido | Chairman & CEO

Nelson Balido | Chairman & CEO

Nelson Balido drives results in diverse government, politics, private industry, and non-profit arenas. As one of the leading authorities on the U.S. border for trade, travel, energy and security issues, he leads Balido and Associates, a strategic management consultancy, and is founder of the Border Commerce and Security Council and the Energy Council of the Americas. Prior to assuming his current role he was the President of the Border Trade Alliance; a presidential pick to lead the private sector division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and also served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council appointed by the Secretary of Homeland Security, where he was awarded the department’s highest civilian award – the Outstanding Public Service Medal.

He has extensive experience in the public and private sectors at the local, state and federal levels. For years, Nelson has worked closely with the governments of U.S., Canada, and Mexico at every level by advocating on behalf of policy initiatives designed to improve cross-border affairs, trade and security relations, energy reform and cultural understanding. In 2014, Nelson was re-appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Industry Trade Advisory Council by United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Commerce.

Governments, companies and media outlets seek his council for his extensive outside-the-beltway relations, real-world international cross-border experience and unique understanding of bi-lateral businesses insights. Nelson was recently credited by the San Antonio Business Journal with orchestrating the largest hydrocarbons deal of 2014 in the Sabinas Basin by taking advantage of Mexico’s new energy reform laws.

His other career stops include respected companies as SBC Communications (at&t), where he served as the company’s director of multicultural marketing, Commissioner of the Texas Commission on the Arts, Member of the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board, and various other positions within municipal agencies and non-profit boards. Mr. Balido holds a B.S. in International Economics and a B.A. in Spanish from Texas Tech University, a Graduate Certificate in Advanced International Affairs from the Bush School at Texas A&M University and a Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Land Management from the University of Houston. He is an active U.S. NAVY reserves public affairs officer, a professional speaker for Energy, Trade and Border Security conferences, the ASPEN Institute, the US Department of Commerce, and a FOX NEWS LATINO contributor.

Follow Nelson here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelsonbalido

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Mexico Arrests Top Gulf Cartel Leader near Texas Border

Mexico Arrests Top Gulf Cartel Leader near Texas Border

Mexican law enforcement sources confirmed the capture to Breitbart Texas of Luis Miguel “Flako Sierra” Mercado by a team of military personnel and state police forces. The capture comes just weeks after the Tamaulipas government kicked off an intelligence sharing partnership and an international crime stoppers program with various U.S. federal agencies, Breitbart Texas reported at the time.

Read More...Mexico Arrests Top Gulf Cartel Leader near Texas Border

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Technology will be a critical component of a good border wall

In the dead of the desert night, several lumbering figures approach the U.S. border from the Mexican side. Are they smugglers bringing heroin or cocaine into the country, undocumented immigrants risking their lives, or maybe just a couple of hapless cows looking for fresh grass?

Currently, a lack of adequate technology makes it remarkably difficult for the U.S. Border Patrol to get an early warning of just what type of threat such incidents represent, despite an extensive network of video cameras and unattended ground sensors.

That is why the House Homeland Security Committee’s passage of a $10 billion border security bill last week is an important first step in plugging porous frontier areas without breaking the budget. Although Democrats were quick to skewer the Republican-backed bill as an empty gesture to please President Trump, the language of the committee’s bill rejects Trump’s grandiose campaign pledge of a “big, beautiful” wall stretching from coast to coast.

Read more…Technology will be a critical component of a good border wall

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NAFTA negotiations are on the ropes

As negotiations to reform the NAFTA free-trade agreement struggle to advance, hobbled by extreme U.S. demands and the administration’s ongoing threats to withdraw, the rest of the world is moving on.

Officials are due to hold a sixth and penultimate round of negotiations in Montreal from Jan. 23-28 as time runs out to bridge major differences.

The European Union and Japan just finalized the world’s biggest free-trade pact that will cover 30 percent of global GDP. The European Union and Mexico are speeding towards a major update of their 17-year-old trade deal. Washington’s NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada, seeking to reduce their dependency on the United States, are aiming to cement closer trade and investment ties with China. Beijing is pushing ahead with its $1 trillion “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative that promises to vastly expand its economic and diplomatic influence. Eleven other Asia-Pacific nations are moving forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, despite the Trump administration’s exit from the deal in one of the president’s first acts in office.

Read more…NAFTA negotiations are on the ropes

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A virtual wall, not a physical wall, is the key to stopping illegal immigration

Construction of President Trump’s promised southern border wall could begin as soon as spring 2018, provided Congress hands over more than $1 billion in funding. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Chief of the Border Patrol Carla Provost told the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee on Tuesday that with the $1.6 billion in the 2018 budget request set aside for wall construction, work on the wall could start in March or April 2018.

Investing in border security infrastructure is important, but Congress should dedicate funds to technological solutions, rather than a continuous concrete barrier that anyone who works in border security knows is a waste of money.

Read more…A virtual wall, not a physical wall, is the key to stopping illegal immigration

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Agencies Working Together to Fight Criminal Activity on Both Sides of Border

Agencies Working Together to Fight Criminal Activity on Both Sides of Border

WESLACO – Federal and state agencies in Mexico and in the U.S. are coming together to fight against criminal violence.

People are being encouraged to anonymously report criminal activity to an operations center based at the Border Patrol headquarters in Edinburg.

The Campana de Seguridad y Prosperidad, also known as the Security and Prosperity Campaign, looks forward to use intelligence sharing between agencies.

To report anything suspicious, people in the U.S. can call 1-800-863-9382. If you’re dialing from Mexico, dial 001-880-863-9382.

For those with WhatsApp, dial or message the number 1-956-295-0887.

KGRV’s Carolina Cruz has more on their efforts to dismantle criminal organization in both sides of the border.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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Mexico And U.S. Join Forces To Increase Border Security

Mexico And U.S. Join Forces To Increase Border Security
For the first time, Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas are collaborating in a campaign involving community members with the purpose of increasing border security. This campaign is like no other seen before. Residents on both sides of the border will be able to report crimes to authorities on the U.S. side, to improve security and the quality of life of the people who live in both Mexico and the United States. This will have a strong impact on the economic development.
The governor of the Mexican state Tamaulipas, Francisco Javier García Cabeza De Vaca and the South Texas Corridor Commander, Manuel Padilla, inaugurated the campaign “Campana de Seguridad y Prosperidad” or Safety and Prosperity Campaign.
It’s a joint effort to dismantle criminal organizations by providing residents an opportunity to report crimes. A telephone number was established at which residents on both sides of the border can call with any information on criminal activity, they can even do so anonymously.
A joint effort between Mexico and the U.S is nothing new, but it’s the fact that community members are now part of the collaboration picture.

Read More… https://foxrio2.com/mexico-and-u-s-join-forces-to-increase-border-security/

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It’s time to confirm permanent leadership for Customs and Border Patrol

It’s time to confirm permanent leadership for Customs and Border Patrol
Nine months in, the Trump administration remains hobbled by an unprecedented number of vacant positions, with nearly 272 key jobs lacking a nominee and some 180 nominees awaiting Senate confirmation. Some of those delays are costlier than others.

Take Kevin McAleenan, who has been acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since the Obama administration ended on Jan. 20. Trump formally nominated him in March to head the CBP, a crucial role in seeing through the administration’s plans to bolster border security, implement a better NAFTA deal and tighten immigration policies.

Six months later, McAleenan’s nomination is only now being heard by the Senate Finance Committee, a delay that has cast a pall of uncertainty over the CBP’s long-term leadership as well as other key positions, such as border patrol chief.

Read More…It’s time to confirm permanent leadership for Customs and Border Patrol

 

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US Border Security Begins in Mexico

US Border Security Begins in Mexico

In the 2016 presidential election cycle, illegal immigration was generally attributed to Mexican migrants and a border wall was prescribed to prevent them from entering the United States. While the rhetoric resonated with many voters, it belied the vastly more complex trends in illegal border crossings and what is needed to address them. Most undocumented migrants arriving at the US border today are not Mexican, and a border wall will not affect what happens when they arrive.

Last year, Border Patrol apprehended nearly 409,000 people attempting to illegally cross the southwest border, a dramatic increase from the 331,000 in 2015, though somewhat less than the high mark of 479,000 in 2014. Last year, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Border Patrol apprehended 59,757 unaccompanied children and 77,857 family units, respectively a 13 percent decline and 12 percent increase from 2014. Border apprehensions are often an indicator of how many people are entering the United States undetected, but the numbers in 2016 do not tell the whole story.

According to the Pew Research Center, there was no statistically significant change in the illegal immigrant population in the United States between 2009 and 2014. But that does not mean illegal entries have stalled. From 2009 to 2014, 13 states saw a change in the size of their unauthorized immigrant populations. In states where illegal populations decreased, it was because illegal Mexican residents left. In states where illegal populations increased, it was due to a growth in the number of residents from countries other than Mexico, which in many cases are those in Central America’s “Northern Triangle” (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras). Last year, the number of apprehensions from Central America exceeded those from Mexico, the second time that trend has been seen, with the previous instance in 2014.

Read More… NEW – US Border Security Begins in Mexico

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Confirmation of DHS intelligence head is too important to politicize

Confirmation of DHS intelligence head is too important to politicize

Most Americans have never heard of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Yet, in January, acting Under Secretary for I&A David Glawe found himself on national television attempting to explain in less than two minutes what the office he leads will do in the face of the Trump administration’s much-debated “travel ban.”

For the lay viewer with no awareness of I&A, it suggested political participation where there is none. With Glawe’s nomination to permanently lead I&A, there is more politicking on the horizon, but this is a mistake — one that can be avoided if we put security before partisanship.

I&A is the only member of the intelligence community charged with sharing threat intelligence with state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners, as well as receiving information from those partners to share with DHS and the intelligence community. This mission is a direct answer to problems identified in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Read More…Confirmation of DHS intelligence head is too important to politicize

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John Renison | Regional President

John Renison | Regional President

John Renison is Chief Executive Officer at Britton & Company, a Customhouse Brokerage firm established in 1944 along the Southwest Border of the United States. John represents Mexican Manufacturers that have a global presence and are key players within cross border trade operations.

John is also Founder of Piggyback Technologies, a crowd sourced on demand same day delivery start up, currently in app development and investor pitch mode. The idea is to disrupt the shipping industry and make same day shipping a collaborative community effort.

Piggyback’s market niche is just about anything that needs to get delivered within the same day or even within the hour. Whether its in store pick ups from online purchases, trade show and convention deliveries, Piggyback enable users to locate pre screened drivers to get the job done, taking advantage of your daily established transit routes.

Based on his 18+ experience in global logistics, John has gained much exposure to the just in time shipping expectations from consumers.

John attended the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives and holds a Professional Certificate on Innovation and Strategy from the Harvard University DCE.

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Conrad Celestial | Board Member

Conrad Celestial | Board Member
President of Unalakleet LLC.

Mr. Celestial has supported the growth of organizations both large and small with a primary focus on Federal Government. Mr. Celestial has served in multiple capacities, having a contract, procurement and program management background and demonstrated executive leadership.  He has lead procurement teams in projects from manufacturing to services and been part of a team that built an organization from the ground up starting with one company and expanding to six.  He has served in positions from contracts administrator and director, subcontract manager, procurement commodities manager, project manager, operations director/COO & President responsible for strategic direction and growth. 

As a President he led the strategic direction of an Alaskan Native Corporation, 8a subsidiary from an organization with no footprint to an established footprint within the Department of Homeland Security specifically with Customs and Border Protection. His ability to see strategic market penetration opportunities allowed for explosive growth of the organization.

He has assisted multiple companies as a strategic advisor and individual coach; analyzing market opportunities, aligning strategic direction and creating a business development/sales and marketing plans that has resulted in rapid growth for the company.   

Mr. Celestial brings a unique background, having grown through the ranks in back office support, contracts and subcontracts Manager in support of various programs, to Operations Director/COO & President personally leading exponential growth of the organization.

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