Officials Announce U.S.-Mexico Border Security Policy

o ATF is increasing its efforts by:
• Relocating 100 personnel to the SW border in the next 45 days, using dedicated resources from the economic stimulus, to fortify its Project Gunrunner aimed at disrupting arms trafficking between the U.S. and Mexico that has resulted in ATF referring more than 1,500 defendants for prosecution involving more than 12,000 weapons; and
• Continuing its eTrace Initiative which works with Mexican officials to forensically track weapons used in drug cartel violence. In FY07, Mexico submitted approximately 1,112 guns for tracing that originated in TX, AZ and CA.

o FBI is stepping up its efforts along the SW Border by:
• Creating a Southwest Intelligence Group (SWIG), a clearinghouse of all FBI activities involving Mexico;
• Increasing its focus on public corruption, kidnappings, and extortion relating to SW border issues; and
• Continuing its successful implementation of the Central American Fingerprint Exchange (CAFÉ) initiative — which was developed to collect, store, and integrate biometric data from El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and the Mexican state of Chiapas into a central database accessible to US law enforcement — as well as the Transnational Anti-Gang initiative — which coordinates the sharing of gang intelligence between the U.S. and El Salvador.

o OJP – Office of Justice Programs – is investing $30 million in stimulus funding to assist with state and local law enforcement to combat narcotics activity along the Southern border and in High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, and

o OCDETF – DOJ’s Organized Drug Enforcement Task Forces Program – is adding personnel to its strike force capacity along the Southwest border.

We are making concerted efforts to cut off funding for Mexican drug cartels.
• Operation Firewall – A DHS-led comprehensive law enforcement operation targeting criminal organizations involved in the smuggling of large quantities of US currency.

• Treasury has made targeting the financial networks of Mexican drug trafficking organizations a top priority and is committed to continuing to work with the Mexican government to disrupt drug money laundering operations. This includes continuing to pursue the use of Treasury authorities including the Kingpin Designation Act.

• Treasury and other departments and agencies are collaborating closely with Mexico to analyze cross-border cash flows to try to distinguish legitimate activity from drug money laundering and other illicit transactions, as well as to support financial aspects of investigations by U.S. and Mexican law enforcement.

• Treasury continues to provide the Mexican government with training on how to conduct financial analysis and financial investigations of drug cartels activities, examination of financial institutions and certain Merida-supported IT investments.

We are renewing our commitment to reduce the demand for illegal drugs here at home.

• Approximately $5 billion have been committed in the previous year for initiatives to reduce illicit drug use within our borders.

• The Obama Administration is focusing on integrating substance abuse services into national healthcare systems with early screening, diagnosis and intervention as regular preventative medicine to reach the millions of patients who need treatment, and as a means to prevent millions more from becoming dependent.

• Expanding treatment capacity of drug courts in the United States is a priority of the Obama Administration. The FY09 Omnibus includes $63.9 million for drug courts that bring judicial, law enforcement, and treatment communities, as well as other social and public services together with the goal of breaking a non-violent offender’s drug addiction.

(Source: White House)

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