The Mexican federal government committed to deporting migrants caught traveling north to their home countries, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico announced on Wednesday.
The Biden administration also plans to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy next month, though the success of the program is largely dependent on Mexico’s cooperation, CBS News reported.
“Everyone should understand that the U.S.-Mexico border is closed to unlawful entry. Persons attempting to enter the United States unlawfully will be detained,” U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said after a trip to the southern border. Salazar visited Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico, in addition to touring the Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas.
“The United States and Mexico are committed to returning migrants who unlawfully enter to their country of origin,” Salazar added.
U.S. immigration officials encountered more than 1.7 million migrants between September 2020 and September 2021, according to Customs and Border Protection data. Mexican federal forces have dispersed hundreds of migrants traveling north through the country in an effort to reach the U.S. border, according to the Associated Press.
However, thousands of migrants have bypassed Mexican authorities and arrived at the U.S. southern border, including several thousand migrants, mostly from Haiti, who overwhelmed U.S. officials and set up a temporary encampment under an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, according to the AP. U.S. and Mexican officials collaborated to deter Haitian migrants from traveling north and started deporting them back to their home country, the El Paso Times reported.
“The U.S. and Mexico are working together to investigate and prosecute the transnational criminal human trafficking syndicates,” Salazar said. “The coyotes are criminals and must be stopped and brought to justice. They victimize migrants by luring them to dangerous trails northward to the border.”
The Department of Homeland Security announced a federal operation targeting transnational criminal organizations who smuggle migrants into the U.S., the Daily Caller News Foundation reported in April. The smugglers regularly abandon women and young migrants in rural areas, leaving them exposed to the elements without directions or resources.
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