Mexico deports over 2,000 caravan migrants back to Honduras

Jason Hopkins, DCNF

(Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Mexican government announced it has so far deported more than 2,000 members of the latest migrant caravan, demonstrating the seriousness of the country’s newfound enforcement of illegal immigration.

Mexico deported roughly 2,303 Honduran migrants between Jan. 18 and Jan. 27, the National Migration Institute — the department in Mexico that manages immigration — reported Monday. The Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.,-based immigration think tank, translated and flagged the recent numbers.

The deportations pertained to the most recent U.S.-bound migrant caravan.

The National Migration Institute and the Mexican National Guard commissioned eight chartered planes and 34 buses to remove the members of the migrant caravan. Roughly 1,064 Hondurans were deported by ground transportation, while another 1,239 were deported by aircraft.

The large removal numbers illustrate Mexico’s newly aggressive approach to U.S.-bound illegal aliens who are attempting to pass through its territory.

A caravan was formed near San Pedro Sula, Honduras, earlier in January and began its journey to the U.S. southern border. Due to travel agreements between Central American governments, most of the members of the caravan were able to pass through Guatemala and continue north.

However, it reached a wall, of sorts, when members reached the Mexican southern border.

Armed with riot gear and tear gas, Mexico’s national guard has fended off attempts by members of the caravan to cross its border for days. The resistance by Mexico’s government has even sparked violent clashes between the two sides, with migrants at one point throwing rocks at them in an effort to pass.

The migrants who have made it into Mexican territory are given the choice of applying for asylum there, where the government has promised them employment, or they can be transported back to their home country. For the migrants who are determined to still reach the U.S., most have remained stationed at the Suchiate River, which marks the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

Mexico has nonetheless made it clear that its territory won’t be used as transit for illegal aliens to reach the U.S. The Trump administration, for its part, has been lauded Mexico’s unprecedented steps to stop illegal immigration.

“Appreciate the Government of Mexico’s commitment to enforcing safe, orderly and lawful migration. Mexico continues to be a true partner in addressing this regional crisis,” Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said in a statement earlier this month. “I’m confident they will continue to stop, deny and impede the caravan.”

While the majority of the caravan is made up of Honduran nationals, it also consists of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans.

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