No More Free Flights Home for Illegal Immigrants
The border patrol has put a stop to flying home illegal immigrants in an effort to cut costs. Over the last seven years it has cost nearly $100 million. The program was for first time offenders and families.
Since 2004, more than 125,000 passengers were flown back to Mexico. However, the border patrol arrests are at a 40 year low and they can’t fill up the planes. This year there haven’t been any flights.
The US government tried to convince Mexico to allow Mexican criminals to fly back on the planes as well, but the Mexican government didn’t think it was right to have criminals sitting next to families and the elderly.
Now the agency must rely on other punishments. One is six months in jail while another will bus a migrant to a border city to be deported there. Tucson sends about 70 people to federal court every week day.
The border patrol claimed the flights did discourage people from trying to come back, but the Government Accountability Office said there is no evidence to suggest this. It appears to have a short term effect instead of long term.
Guillermo Martinez was flown back to Mexico in 2010. He tried to come back in April, but the border patrol arrested him and he spent four months in jail. He was eventually deported back to Mexico, but he said he has plans to come back.