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For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
EL PASO — Leadership from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, and Mexico’s Secretariat of Government today announced the finalization of negotiations for the nine Local Repatriation Arrangements along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Officials came together for the annual Repatriation Strategy and Policy Executive Coordination Team (RESPECT) meeting to discuss bi-national efforts and successes regarding repatriation processes. At this meeting, U.S. and Mexican officials noted the conclusion of a year-long process to review and streamline the times and locations for the repatriation along the U.S.-Mexico border of Mexican nationals in order to better align resources and improve the safety and security of certain vulnerable populations.
“I am enthused by the work that has been accomplished over the past year,” said DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer Alan Bersin. “DHS is committed to co-responsibility for border issues like repatriation and looks forward to partnering with Mexico to further our cooperation.”
These nine Local Repatriation Arrangements, covering all locations along the U.S.-Mexico border, included statements regarding the general repatriation procedures, location-specific information, and specific measures for vulnerable populations, such as unaccompanied minors and those with medical conditions.
U.S. and Mexican representatives conducted a comprehensive, border-wide review of the times and locations of all Mexican repatriations, negotiated new bi-national Local Repatriation Arrangements that better aligned DHS and Mexican resources to improve coordination of the repatriation process, agreed to the use of 12 areas for repatriation, and adopted an approach that assumed daytime returns.
“These arrangements represent our continued joint commitment to international cooperation, and to the safety of those vulnerable individuals who are repatriated to Mexico,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña. “Our U.S.-Mexico border is a dynamic area, so these arrangements need to be reviewed regularly to ensure that the spirit of their intent is updated as circumstances change.”
To acknowledge this accomplishment, leadership from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ICE, Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and Mexico’s National Migration Institute signed one of the nine Local Repatriation Arrangements at the El Paso Border Patrol Station in El Paso, Texas.
DHS, in close collaboration with our Government of Mexico partners, is also publicly releasing the base text of the arrangements. “The public release of the arrangement is indicative of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s, and the Department of Homeland Security’s, commitment to transparency and accountability,” said CBP Acting Executive Assistant Commissioner Woody Lee.
Repatriation arrangements can be found here.