Tucson, AZ – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun returning illegal immigrants deeper into Mexico’s interior in an effort to keep them from returning.
DHS began running flights from Tucson to Guadalajara, Mexico in December of 2019 to return Mexican nationals from non-border states who recently illegally crossed the border or who have already been ruled deportable by the court, FOX News reported.
In the past, illegal aliens were released on the southern side of the border of Mexico and the United States.
But that made it too easy for them to turn around and try to re-enter the country illegally again, FOX News reported.
Officials said that Mexican officials requested the move and said sending illegal immigrants back closer to their hometowns improved their access to government services.
“This is another example of the Trump Administration working with the Government of Mexico to address the ongoing border security crisis,” DHS Spokeswoman Heather Swift told FOX News. “Mexico has been a great partner in stopping illegal migration before they reach our border and in standing up the Migrant Protection Protocol which has allowed us to provide court dates to more than 55,000 individuals.”
DHS has said it intended to begin running two flights a week by the end of January to deliver at least 250 illegal aliens back home, FOX News reported.
The new Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) has been referred to as the “Remain in Mexico Policy” and ended the practice of “catch-and-release” that had been used extensively at the United States – Mexico border.
Critics say the Mexican nationals are put in danger when they’re returned over the border and have challenged the practice in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, FOX News reported.
MPP was expanded over the summer and into the fall, but the illegal immigrants being delivered back to Mexico’s interior were not part of that program.
Regional cooperation has also resulted in agreements with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras that helped reduce the number of apprehensions at the border by more than 70 percent since May, FOX News reported.