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United States and Spain Formalize Arrangement to Interdict High-Risk Travelers

Release Date: 
July 1, 2009

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

Madrid, Spain—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano met with Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba today and signed a Declaration of Principles formalizing the Immigration Advisory Program (IAP)—which allows for the identification of high-risk travelers at foreign airports before they board aircraft bound for the United States—at Madrid Barajas International Airport.

The arrangement will help combat the use of fraudulent travel documents, prevent terrorists and other criminals from entering the United States, disrupt alien smuggling and promote cooperation between DHS and the Ministry of the Interior.

“Protecting our nation from terrorism requires close coordination with our international allies,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This collaboration enhances the capabilities of United States and Spain to facilitate legal travel and deter dangerous people attempting to enter our country.”

IAP has operated as an extended pilot program in Madrid since February 11, 2008.

Since its implementation, IAP Madrid has identified or prevented the travel of 402 improperly documented travelers, intercepted 23 persons with fraudulent documents, and stopped 10 terrorism-related suspects.

The IAP represents the third document signed between the United States and Spain in the past week. Along with the Letter of Intent to expand science and technology cooperation, signed on June 23, and the Agreement to Prevent and Combat Serious Crime, signed on June 24, the IAP will help both countries combat common threats and promote global security.

Secretary Napolitano’s visit to Spain was her fourth stop in a weeklong trip to the United Kingdom, Portugal, Kuwait and Ireland. In Ireland on Monday, Secretary Napolitano toured the new DHS secondary screening facility set to open on July 29 at Shannon Airport and discussed the implementation of a landmark Preclearance Agreement between the United States and Ireland with Irish Transport Minister Noel Dempsey. Secretary Napolitano also met with Irish Justice, Equality and Law Reform Minister Dermot Ahern to discuss a future information sharing agreement.

Also on Monday, Secretary Napolitano traveled to the United Kingdom, where she met with Home Secretary Alan Johnson and Transportation Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis to discuss coordination on issues such as countering violent extremists, information sharing, air travel security and cybersecurity.

Visiting Portugal yesterday, Secretary Napolitano met with Interior Minister Rui Pereira, Justice Minister Alberto Costa and Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Amado and signed a Preventing and Combating Crime (PCC) Agreement, which allows for the exchange of biometric and biographic data to bolster counterterrorism and law enforcement in both nations while ensuring privacy protections.

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