The United States and Mexico further agreed to jointly and vigorously fight alien smuggling rings and to prosecute those who perpetrate these crimes.
"We are dedicated to one goal: to protect the American and Mexican people from the threat of terrorism," said Secretary Ridge in a press conference following the meeting. Specifically, Secretaries Ridge and Creel agreed to:
The Secure Electronic Network for Traveler's Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) is a dedicated commuter lane system that leverages technology to make the flow of people across our shared border more secure.
The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program is designed to enhance the security and safety of the commercial flow of goods along the Southern border, while facilitating the economic prosperity of both countries. Companies using FAST lanes agree to rigorous inspections of their plants, warehouses and employees as well as to safety procedures, including special container seals that ensure the integrity of the cargo and eliminate vulnerabilities. In exchange, participating companies receive fast electronic processing and reduced inspections.
Secretary Ridge reaffirmed President's Bush statement on Mexican President Vicente Fox's State Visit in September 2001 that "We have no greater friend than Mexico and our commitment never wavered." Secretary Ridge said of his meeting with Secretary Creel, "You can't choose your neighbors but you can choose your friends."
Secretary Ridge and Secretary Creel last met in November 2003 in Washington, DC. This was Secretary Ridge's first visit to Mexico as Secretary of Homeland Security. He last visited the country as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security in March of 2002.
[Source: Dept. of Homeland Security]