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Border mayors form alliance to improve image

This Thursday, April 22, 2010 photo shows the international border in Nogales, Ariz.  The first of 532 National Guard troops are set to begin their mission in the southern Arizona desert on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 under President Barack Obama's plan to beef up U.S.-Mexico border security, although they won't have any law enforcement authority. (AP Photo/Matt York)

International border in Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

U.S. border mayors, including the Mayor of Nogales, are teaming up to promote the positive side of their communities while combatting a negative image of crime and violence associated with Mexican drug gangs.

Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino and representatives from 13 border cities formed the US.-Mexico Mayors Association during a summit in Tucson last week.

Garino tells the Nogales International he quickly learned his city wasn’t the only one with a negative image problem.

He says mayors from Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, and even San Diego are facing the same thing and almost everybody is hurting economically because of the perception that things aren’t safe.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin urged the mayors to form an alliance to better lobby Washington for federal assistance on border issues.

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