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September 30, 2009 > California signs agreements to combat border violence and human trafficking

California signs agreements to combat border violence and human trafficking

Submitted By Jay Alan

The State of California has entered into two significant mutual agreements to enhance security within and along the southwest border. The agreements were part of a recently concluded Border Governors Conference (BGC) represented by the 10 states from the United States (U.S.) and Mexico which make up the Southwestern Border.

The first of these agreements supports the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives' (ATF) Project Gunrunner and e-Trace Programs. In an effort to take decisive action against the escalation of border violence and the illegal purchase and use of those firearms which serve to fuel it, the BGC is partnering with the ATF in order to eliminate the sources of illegal weapons and bring gun traffickers and other criminals to justice. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by representative of the 10 states, will enhance the cooperation with ATF to identify firearms trafficker and weapons suppliers, while ensuring that state and local law enforcement officials are given state-of-the-art tools and training (on e Trace and the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network) to identify the source of weapons used in violent crime and allow investigators to draw correlations between previously unrelated crimes.

The second agreement supports the establishment of a multi-state, bi-national Human Trafficking Task Force that will work to identify methods to reduce and ultimately eliminate the international trafficking of persons, within our respective states, and those states sharing the southwestern border region.

This task force, made up of experts from each member's states, will conduct an in-depth examination of the issues surrounding this heinous crime, as well as work to carry out and implement the provisions outlined by the BGC Governors in their BGC XXVI Joint Declaration from the 2008 Conference in Hollywood, California. These provisions include the development of best practices, and identifying the need for and creating, cross-border training opportunities. These two partnership agreements mark a renewed bi-national commitment to cooperation and collaboration in enhancing the security and promise of our collective states.

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