President Bush and President Vicente Fox of Mexico exchanged ideas Monday on how to stop violence and improve security along the two countries' mutual border, the White House said.

Press secretary Scott McClellan said that Bush telephoned Fox while traveling here to give a speech and said the pair "talked about working together" to improve conditions that have been a source of friction between the two countries.

McClellan told reporters that Bush has designated Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to talk to his counterpart in Mexico about the problem and said that Bush and Fox also talked about pending immigration legislation in Congress.

Late last year, Washington dispatched federal agents to Texas to combat violent crime along the Mexican border.

In August, U.S. and Mexican officials had traded accusations over who is to blame for problems in border security.