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Secretaries Napolitano and Espinosa Announce Agreement on Mexican Repatriation

Release Date: April 3, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa announced following their meeting today that Mexico and the United States have reached agreement on formalized arrangements for the expedited and humane repatriation of Mexican nationals.

The agreement consists of 30 Local Arrangements for the Repatriation of Mexican Nationals, which have been reached all over the United States by DHS, the Mexican National Migration Institute and the Mexican Consulates located within the jurisdiction of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol sectors. As of today, all necessary Local Arrangements have been signed.

“Cooperation and collaboration must be the cornerstone of how our nations address our shared border,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Formalizing these practices improves efficiency and reduces complications for both governments as well as individuals being repatriated.”

“Today we are announcing a breakthrough measure that will substantially strengthen our bilateral framework for the protection of Mexican citizens in the United States,” said Secretary Espinosa.

All 30 Local Arrangements, though the practices vary by location, formalize the operational coordination between governments to: guarantee a safe, orderly and humane repatriation process; reiterate the need for timely and effective consular access; outline special procedures for the safe return of juveniles and vulnerable individuals; establish communication protocols to address challenges posed by daily operations; and include a periodic review system to update and improve arrangements as circumstances evolve in time.

The Governments of Mexico and the United States, through this Local Arrangement Network, reassert their commitment to deepen their bilateral cooperation.