US and Mexico Resume Voluntary Interior Repatriation Program
by Jim Kouri
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on Friday that the governments of Mexico and the United States are resuming the Interior Repatriation Program this summer to ensure the safe, effective and humanitarian return of Mexican nationals illegally in the United States to their places of origin in the interior of Mexico.
The first repatriation flight in this seasonal program departed Friday morning from Tucson International Airport in Arizona with approximately 75 Mexican nationals who volunteered to be repatriated.
The program is scheduled to continue until Sept. 30, 2007. July, August and September typically present the most severe climate conditions for individuals crossing the Arizona-Sonora desert. ICE and the Government of Mexico recognized that the standard practice of removing illegal aliens across the border left many prey to smugglers and traffickers who work the border areas persuading newly removed Mexicans to make the trip again, despite the severe heat, with the promise of helping them elude authorities.
"By quickly returning aliens to the interior of Mexico rather than to the Mexican border, both nations seek to save lives and discourage additional illegal border crossings through hostile, desert terrain, said Director of ICE Detention and Removal Operations John Torres. "The United States and Mexico look forward to continued cooperation in this endeavor."
In 2003, the U.S. and the Government of Mexico, by joint accord, designated the Tucson Sector's western corridor as a "high risk" area under the bi-national Border Safety Initiative.
As a result, both governments designed and continue to administer this voluntary repatriation program with the goal of reducing the loss of life in the desert areas during the summer heat, deterring illegal immigration and combating organized crime linked to human smuggling, trafficking and the violence they propagate on both sides of the U.S-Mexican border.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.