TUCSON,Â AZ.Â â€“ The Tucson Sector Border Patrol has renewed a longstanding program with Mexico in the implementation of new policy to prosecute human smugglers on both sides of the border, according to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
In an effort to enhance public safety across the southwest, the Border Patrol implemented â€œOperation Against Smugglers Initiative on Safety and Securityâ€ (OASISS) in 2005, said the release. The program enables the prosecution of Mexican human smugglers, through Mexican courts, using information obtained via interviews conducted by Border Patrol agents while in U.S. custody.
According to the press release, the program was postponed this past year due to a change in Mexican federal court procedural directives. However, public safety concerns for migrants in northern Mexico prompted a recent bi-national agreement to facilitate OASISS prosecution in Mexican courts.
Working together, the Government of Mexico and the U.S. target human smugglers preying on vulnerable migrants along the common border, continued the release. In fiscal year 2016, Tucson Sector Border Patrol submitted 143 human smugglers to the government of Mexico as OASIS candidates for prosecution in their court system.