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In a December 17 posting on El Sol de Tijuana’s website, it was reported that a member of the PRI political party stated that a reliable database must be created to keep track of children and adolescents repatriated after crossing the border to the U.S. Doing so would safeguard their rights and protect them from the risk of exploitation, said Flor Ayala Robles Linares.

The legislator noted that in 2011, U.S. authorities handed over about 237,014 children and adolescent migrants of various nationalities who traveled alone and were intercepted at the border. Of the returned children, about 11,520 were Mexican nationals; the balance were ostensibly from countries further south.

"The repatriation process is reduced to a cold bureaucratic formality not serving the best interests of the child,” said Robles Linares, who urged a point of agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Migration Institute, and the National System for Integral Development of the Family (DIF) to create a database of unaccompanied minors.

The National System for the Integral Development of the Family reported that domestic violence occurs in one of every three Mexican households, which leads to around 20,000 children and adolescents to flee their families, making them easy prey for sexual exploitation.

Robles Linares mentioned that the implementation of public policies that promote the well-being and protection of minors should not vary from government agency to another or from one municipality to another and be subject to the discretion of responsible public servants.

The proposed database would include biometric information documenting transfers, any type of abuse by border officers of both countries, origin, cities of travel and access routes, places where the minor has been detained and repatriated, and the family history.

"We are obliged to place these children in the hands of Mexican institutions with all the instruments available at their disposal, both nationally and internationally, to deal with the scourge of trafficking in children," said the lawmaker.

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