UTEP Experts Offer Insight on Border Security, Immigration Debate in Congress

As the U.S. Congress debates a comprehensive immigration reform bill, many issues surround the discussions. To offer their insights on these issues, experts at The University of Texas at El Paso are prepared to weigh in on the bill’s progress through Congress and its implications if passed.


Border Security Expert:

Victor Manjarrez*, associate director, UTEP's National Center for Border Security and Immigration

  • As associate director of the National Center for Border Security and Immigration (NCBSI) at The University of Texas at El Paso, Manjarrez ensures the day-to-day execution of the center’s core mission of conducting basic and applied research to develop technologies, tools and advanced methods that balance immigration and trade with effective border security; assess threats and vulnerabilities; improve surveillance and screening; analyze immigration trends; and enhance policy and law enforcement efforts.

    Prior to joining UTEP, Manjarrez served for more than 20 years in the United States Border Patrol in key operational roles and as acting director of counternarcotics enforcement with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Many of his innovative border security methods and ideas are still the basic cornerstones for the U.S. Border Patrol being utilized today. He also held positions as chief patrol agent at the Tucson and El Paso sectors of the Border Patrol.

Border Economics/Trade Expert:

Thomas Fullerton*, Ph.D., professor of economics, UTEP College of Business Administration

  • In addition to conducting research on Borderplex business conditions, Fullerton teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in econometrics, managerial economics, urban economics, business forecasting, Latin American political economy, border economics, and international country risk analysis.

    Fullerton has also worked as an economist in the executive office of the Governor of Idaho, where he forecast the state economy and conducted fiscal policy analyses during legislative sessions. His professional career began as an associate economist in the corporate planning department of El Paso Electric Co. His analyses have been cited in articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Barron’s, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily, and U.S. News & World Report. He has also appeared on national newscasts aired by ABC, CNN, and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. Fullerton’s research has been published in academic journals in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Both experts are bilingual in English and Spanish. To schedule interviews, please contact Veronique Masterson or Chris Lechuga at 915-747-5526 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

About UTEP:

The University of Texas at El Paso was founded in 1914 and is a major research university at the heart of the U.S.-Mexico border that is committed to the ideals of access and excellence. A leader among Hispanic-serving institutions, UTEP enrolls nearly 23,000 students and is the only doctoral research university in the nation with a student body that is a majority Mexican-American. UTEP’s growing research portfolio boasts nearly $80 million in annual research spending in a range of topic areas.