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THE RESPECTABLE WORK OF THE BETA GROUPS

8/21/00 - The News - Mexico City

As the border Beta Groups, Mexico's answer to the U.S. Border Patrol, mark their 10th anniversary, it should be made clear that the government's actions must target human traffickers (polleros) instead of tagging undocumented immigrates as delinquents.

And this is the theory that Mexico stresses in seminars organized to analyze the possibility of tighter Mexican-U.S. cooperation on the issue.

It is no hidden fact that human trafficking is a main concern for Mexican immigration officials. For this reason National Immigration Institute (INM) Commissioner Alejandro Carrillo Castro says that coordinated efforts between Beta Groups and the Federal Judicial Police cannot be substituted.

Carrillo praised the Beta Groups for their mission to prevent and protect Mexican and foreign immigrants in distress. He said that the program by no means should be discontinued.

Carrillo said the Beta Groups have strengthened their ethics and values during the last decade, and that protecting immigrants is the main commitment they have with society.

He said that the three gubernatorial factions behind the creation of the Beta Groups agreed that public servants should be carefully screened before being recruited, and that those accepted should have adequate technical training and knowledge of the laws and human rights.

It's a good thing such groups exist to protect the immigrants, especially when you consider that human traffickers make an estimated 7 billion dollars worldwide annually.

The U.S. Congress in September is expected to study an initiative to legalize some 6 million immigrant workers to protect them from racist and xenophobic groups.

The initiative will be important for Mexican immigrants that entered the United States illegally, and also will play a major role in efforts stop the scandalous profits raked in by the "polleros."

For the time being, Mexico continues to use all the political and legal resources within its reach to defend the human rights and dignity of immigrants who have been stopped in the United States.