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Mexico announces 15,000 US-bound migrant deportations in April; 300k annually

Hundreds of protesters march through downtown Tijuana on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, demanding an end to the Central American immigrant caravans passing through Mexico from the border with Guatemala, and calling for the expulsion of migrants already in the country. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
April 25, 2019

Mexico claims to have deported more than 15,000 U.S.-bound migrants this month, but thousands more are still working their way up to the border.

Mexico’s interior ministry undersecretary for human rights, Alejandro Encinas, said the migrants are “mainly from Central America, but also from other countries, they have been little more than 15,000 from the first of April to date — the irregular situation, irregular income, irregular stay and immigration regulations — should not be in the country,” according to Mexico’s local news outlet Televisa.

Encinas added that 300,000 migrants enter Mexico each year, some even hailing from as far away as India.

On Monday alone, Mexican officials detained 371 people in its largest single raid in the past six months, and successfully broke up the caravan that formerly included 3,000 migrants, NBC News reported.

Mexico’s immigration chief, Tonatiuh Guillén, said about 11,800 migrants were deported before that incident, adding that the country is becoming more restrictive in granting humanitarian visas. Mexico has also issued more than 15,000 humanitarian visas.

Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero said the deported migrants failed to apply for a regional visa, which would have permitted them to continue seeking refuge in Mexico.

Approximately 3,200 migrants are currently housed in three shelters in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost border state.

Aside from Mexico’s efforts, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended and blocked more than 103,000 illegal immigrants in March alone, an increase of 38 percent from February, or 148 percent from March 2018, the Washington Examiner reported.

This was a significant increase from February apprehensions, which amounted to around 75,000.

“More than 103,000 migrants were apprehended or deemed inadmissible at the southern border in March,” said a CBP official. “We continue to face an unprecedented and unsustainable surge of migrants flooding to our border.”

Former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the number of illegal immigrant apprehensions is on pace to reach one million by the end of the year.

More than 418,000 have already been apprehended so far in 2019.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the migrant crisis on Wednesday, saying, “Can anyone comprehend what a GREAT job Border Patrol and Law Enforcement is doing on our Southern Border. So far this year they have APPREHENDED 418,000 plus illegal immigrants, way up from last year. Mexico is doing very little for us. DEMS IN CONGRESS MUST ACT NOW!”

Earlier in the day, he said another 20,000-member caravan was on its way to the southern border.

“A very big Caravan of over 20,000 people started up through Mexico. It has been reduced in size by Mexico but is still coming. Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military. The Coyotes & Cartels have weapons!”

U.S. immigration court already has more than 800,000 cases awaiting hearings, and the backlog continues to increase with the influx of numerous Central American migrant caravans since October 2018.