Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild recently returned from Sonora and Mexico City, where he told Mexicans to think about Tucson whenever they want to expand business or plan shopping or vacation.

Rothschild traveled with other representatives from Tucson and Arizona to reassure those in Mexico that the state's push against illegal immigrants and for more border security shouldn't come between people.

"I also delivered the message that Tucson is not interested in demonizing Mexico, Mexicans or people of Mexican descent," Rothschild said. " We are neighbors and we need to work on solutions to problems together."

Rothschild and others said they hope to keep an open line of communication with their Mexican counterparts and work on ways to improve the social, cultural and business ties.

"Mexico by far is Arizona's top trading partner," the mayor said. "Mexico to the United States is the second-largest trading partner in the world, $470 billion last year, second only to China."

"But just in Arizona, Arizona, our jobs exported about $6 billion in goods to Mexico and imports were about $6.2 billion," he said.