SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A delegation of local political and business leaders is in Mexico City this week for an annual trip to strengthen bi-national ties.
This three-day visit comes amid tensions and uncertainty in the relationship between the United States and Mexico as the Trump administration cracks down on immigration.
"The climate's not great, but we're always welcomed with open arms because we have a close relationship," said San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce President and C.E.O. Jerry Sanders. "On the wall, it's more inflammatory than anything else, because we've had a wall in San Diego for some time and goods, people and services flow very smoothly."
Three infrastructure projects are a top priority for the coalition; one is a new port of entry east of Otay, another is a cross-border freight railroad and a third a new southbound pedestrian crossing into Mexico. Other items on the agenda include: trade, tourism and tech jobs.
"We come here with some very specific projects, but with an overall intent to deliver a positive message from our region that relays our understanding of Mexico as a strategic partner in so many areas," said the Chamber's VP of International Business Affairs Paula Avila.
The group will meet with several high-level Mexican officials including the environmental secretary.
This comes a month after a Tijuana sewage plant caused what Imperial Beach's mayor called the county's largest raw sewage discharge.
Beaches were closed for weeks and a bi-national investigation is underway.
IB Mayor Serg Dedina is one of three mayors making the trek.
"I think they've realized the infrastructure is aging down there and they're putting funding toward fixing that right away," said Sanders.
The delegation is led by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and includes the mayors of San Diego, Imperial Beach and Tijuana.
Also on the roster are business leaders, customs brokers, logistics experts, real estate developers and others seeking to maintain strong cross-border ties.
Firefighters struggled to contain the most deadly and destructive wildfire in California history Tuesday while mobile coroner's teams combed the incinerated remains of a once thriving town and its environs looking for more victims of the carnage.
Through all the devastation, one San Diego woman is making a huge difference by saving lives. Dana Serratore has been risking her own life to save animals from the inferno in and around Malibu.
A first grade class at Saint Mary School in Escondido received new iPad cases and accessories Tuesday thanks to the Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation. The school's principal said the tools will help further student engagement in lessons and other education activities on the devices.
Five San Diego school districts will continue to be closed Wednesday due to San Diego Gas & Electric's public safety power shutoff.
A family accused of running phony charities to help wounded vets and rescue abused horses has been ordered to pay nearly $9 million in a California state lawsuit.
The San Diego City Council voted, 5-4, Tuesday to proceed with a proposed Housing Navigation Center that will offer services and programs to help homeless residents find housing and obtain medical care, mental health treatment, job training and other supportive services.
The U.S. government said it was starting work Tuesday to “harden” the border crossing from Tijuana, Mexico, to prepare for the arrival of a migrant caravan leapfrogging its way across western Mexico.
Mama's Kitchen is in it's 14th year helping to raise money to provide meals for men, women and children vulnerable to hunger due to critical illnesses.
Willie O'Ree, who played seven seasons with the original San Diego Gulls after becoming the first black to play in the NHL, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday in Toronto.