HomeNewsBriefUS to Change Mexico Deportation Policy, Aims to Drive Down Border Violence
BRIEF

US to Change Mexico Deportation Policy, Aims to Drive Down Border Violence

MEXICO / 28 FEB 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

The United States Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, has annonced that the US government will change its deportation policy for illegal Mexican migrants, flying them to their place of origin in an effort to combat border violence.

Napolitano made the announcement at a press conference in Mexico City, explaining that the US will pilot its new program in April by providing air transportation to Mexicans rather than using its current policy of dropping them on the border in northern Mexico. In the new policy, the Mexican government will then be responsible for aiding the migrants' journey from the airport to their homes.

Napolitano said the new policy is a response to criminal organizations who often prey on migrants left stranded at the border, saying "We can jointly cut the link between criminal organizations and their prey and we can, and will, save lives." 

Mexican Interior Minister Alejandro Poire, who announced the program with Napolitano, stated that removing vulnerable Mexicans from border areas will help the fight against human trafficking.

Official figures from the US put the number of those deported through September 2011 at 400,00, a new record. Most of these were sent back to Mexico.

InSight Crime Analysis

Under the current deportation policy, the US in some cases actively tries to deport Mexicans via a different point of entry so as to prevent the migrants from being swallowed by human trafficking networks. However, this tactic can still be exploited by Mexican drug gangs, as a Los Angeles Times piece noted last year. As the paper pointed out, while some may be sent back via comparatively safer points of entry, others may be faced with having to travel via more dangerous corridors, such as those controlled by the Zetas, a group known to target migrants.

There is a second issue at play here, which has little to do with vulnerable migrants. Another class of deportees are ex-convicts who often join criminal groups upon return to Mexico. President Felipe Calderon came out in strong opposition last fall to the current policy, pointing to how it facilitated violence in the north of Mexico. Though not an unprecedented criticism -- InSight noted at the time that Mexican officials have been complaining for years against the policy -- it highlighted the other danger in the deportation policy.

share icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 12 OCT 2011

A surge in the amount of ammunition seized at the Arizona-Mexico border suggests that traffickers may have found the perfect…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 10 JAN 2019

The six bodies, minus their heads, were dumped just before dawn on a morning in late October. They were left in…

AUC / 19 JUL 2012

Analyst Alejandro Hope asks whether it makes sense for Mexico to negotiate a solution with its criminal gangs, looking at…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events - Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…