August 5, 2013
Security has grown so dire in Mexican border towns that U.S. immigration authorities have begun flying some deportees to Mexico City, rather than releasing them into areas where they could be targeted by kidnappers and smuggling gangs.
The twice-weekly flights operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carry only a fraction of the nearly 300,000 Mexican nationals returned by the Obama administration each year. But flying deportees deep into Mexico could save lives by discouraging them from attempting another desperate illegal crossing, ICE officials say.
“We’re trying to reduce attempted reentry into the United States and minimize the potential for exploitation of people who are removed to Mexico, and their loss of life,” said Tim Robbins, an ICE official who coordinates the flight program, known as the Interior Repatriation Initiative.