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Readout of Secretary Napolitano's Visit to Mexico City

Release Date: 
November 30, 2010

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

MEXICO CITY–Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today visited Mexico City to meet with her international counterparts and reiterate the Obama administration's ongoing commitment to combating terrorism and other transnational crimes–signing an agreement to facilitate secure, legitimate travel as part the United States' and Mexico's continued efforts to enhance the security of both nations.

"In the face of ever-evolving, multinational threats, the United States is committed to working with our international partners to enhance information-sharing and our mutual security," said Secretary Napolitano. "We look forward to our continued partnership with the Mexican government as we forge an unprecedented international security framework that facilitates legitimate trade and travel while protecting our citizens."

In Mexico City, Secretary Napolitano and Mexico Ministry of the Interior Secretary José Francisco Blake Mora signed an agreement expressing their intent to develop a Global Entry international trusted traveler program pilot between the United States and Mexico–leveraging the success of the United States' Global Entry program to facilitate secure, legitimate travel between the two nations.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows pre-approved members who have undergone robust background checks and provided biometrics expedited customs processing–reducing average wait times while allowing law enforcement to focus on the most serious security threats at points of entry to our country. At Global Entry kiosks, members insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into a document reader, provide digital fingerprints for comparison with fingerprints on file, answer customs declaration questions on the kiosk's touch-screen, and then present a transaction receipt to CBP officers before leaving the inspection area.

Secretary Napolitano, Minister Blake Mora and Mexican Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Julian Ventura also signed a Letter of Intent between DHS, Mexico's Secretariat of Governance and Secretariat of Foreign Affairs affirming their shared commitment to collaborating on a strategic plan for the expedited and humane repatriation of Mexican nationals to the interior of Mexico.

The Letter of Intent builds on the framework of 30 Local Arrangements for the Repatriation of Mexican Nationals between consular and immigration authorities of both nations established by Secretary Napolitano and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa on April 3, 2009–formalizing the operational coordination between governments to guarantee a safe, orderly and humane repatriation process.

On Monday, Secretary Napolitano visited Panama City to meet with her international counterparts and sign a new Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Panama that will enhance information sharing and help secure the international aviation system against terrorism and international crime.

For more information on CBP Trusted Traveler programs, visit www.cbp.gov/travel.

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