The Arizona-Mexico Commission added two binational committees to its organization throughout the 1980s, strengthening its collaboration with Arizona’s neighbors south of the border.
Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora officially became Sister Cities in 1980. The two cities became known as Ambos Nogales while Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt and Sonora Governor Samuel Ocaña García were in office.
The first Border Governors Conference was held that same year in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
The conference is still held every year and includes the U.S. governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and Mexico governors of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.
In 1984, the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) expanded to eight committees with the addition of the Legal Advisory Committee.
The AMC also celebrated its 25th anniversary and 40th Plenary Session that year.
The commission and its Sonoran counterpart, the Sonora-Arizona Commission, held bi-annual plenary sessions to discuss issues and continue collaboration and relationship-building.
The Arizona-Mexico Border Health Foundation was established in 1984.
The foundation’s mission is to develop relationships to improve the health of the people who live along the US-Mexico border while respecting its diverse people.
The AMC added the Sports Committee in 1986, reaching nine binational committees.
The commission published its first newsletter, The Cronista, that same year and sold subscriptions for $15 a year.
In 1987, Arizona-Mexico Border Health Foundation began to publish Vecinos, a print newsletter designed to inform health professionals and the public about problems that affect the region.
Kinoland, a tourism joint promotion was developed that year to promote Arizona and Sonora under one destination. The promotion was name after Father Kino, a Jesuit missionary who established missions and built churches in what is now Arizona.
In 1989, the CANAMEX Trade Corridor was opened. It is a series of highways established under the North American Free Trade Agreement that links Mexico to Canada through the U.S.
The AMC celebrated its 30th anniversary that year, as well.