U.S. Immigration and Customs and Border Protection agents teamed up to return more than 1,000 Mexican migrants deep into their country’s interior under a new Trump Administration program.
During the peak of the 2019 migrant border crisis, the Trump Administration negotiated an agreement to return Mexican nationals found illegally in the United States into Mexico’s interior, according to information obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. Under previous agreements, Mexican nationals were simply returned to across the border–making it easy to simply re-cross elsewhere.
Under the Interior Repatriation Initiative (IRI) joint agreement, U.S. officials returned more than 1,000 Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S. to the interior of Mexico instead of a trans-border removal. “The IRI is a joint agreement between the governments of the United States and Mexico to ensure that those repatriated to Mexico are returned closer to their homes in a safe and expeditious manner,” CBP officials said in a written statement.
“This is yet another successful Trump Administration initiative that demonstrates our urgency to apprehend and quickly remove those who illegally cross our border,” CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said. “By returning these individuals into the interior of Mexico, they will be much less likely to attempt a dangerous and potentially deadly journey north.”
On Friday, ICE agents flew 106 Mexican nationals from Tucson, Arizona, to Guadalajara. The government of Mexico will provide transportation for the migrants from Guadalajara to their home of record.
“This framework will reduce recidivism and border violence by returning Mexican nationals closer to their cities of origin,” ICE officials stated. “ICE works closely with CBP to ensure the safe and timely removal of individuals who have unlawfully crossed the southern border.”
The program is carried out in the U.S. by CBP, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, and ICE Air Operations.