Mexico now deports more immigrants from Central America than the number deported by the United States. This reveals a dramatic shift since last year when the US asked for Mexico’s assistance to deal with an influx of undocumented immigrants, particularly unaccompanied immigrant minors who were crossing the border in droves.
Between October 2014 and April this year, 92,889 immigrants from Central America were apprehended by Mexico, with 70,226 non-Mexican immigrants from countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras detained by the United States during the same period. These numbers represent a huge reversal from the year before, when the wave of undocumented immigrant minors and adults from Central America was rapidly growing. 159,103 non-Mexican immigrants were apprehended by the US between October 2013 and April last year, which was three times as high as the number detained by Mexico – 49,893.
The difference can be explained by the new Southern Border Program initiative in Mexico, which saw 5,000 federal police sent to the Guatemala/Mexico border and the creation of a greater number of highway and border checkpoints. The program also saw an increase of immigrant raids.
Neither immigration officials from Mexico nor the United States have so far responded to questions about the changes, though some have previously claimed that they are aimed at reducing the dangers faced by immigrants; however, critics argue that Mexico is deporting immigrants much too quickly and that even those who may previously have been able to claim a humanitarian visa no longer have this chance.