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Border & immigration

U.S., Mexico launch new intelligence-sharing programs

Will swap info on travelers, prisoners

Senior leaders from the United States and Mexico agreed the two countries will begin swapping intelligence on suspected terrorists and Mexican felons following discussions in Mexico City on Tuesday.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Francisco Gómez-Mont hosted the meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Defense Secretary Robert Gates where the intelligence-sharing arrangements were signed and a new security initiative with focus on the Mexican capital was created.

The security initiative, called the Joint Security Program for Travelers (JSP), “enhances information sharing and best practices between the United States and Mexico regarding the identification of potential terrorists or other dangerous criminals traveling by air through Mexico City International Airport,” according to a press release on the DHS Web site. There will also be an emphasis on tracking document fraud, and the program could expand to include other Mexican airports.

Under a second agreement, DHS will provide the Mexican government information about Mexican nationals in the U.S. prison system who are expected to return to Mexico upon their release.

The meeting came amid growing concern among U.S. citizens who fear the violence on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande will trickle into the United States, a possibility some U.S. officials say is a reality. On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to convene a hearing to discuss the violence, which Cornyn said has already spilled into Texas.

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Justin Denh/Texas Tribune