U.S. flies deportees deep into Mexico

MEXICO CITY — U.S. immigration authorities began flying deportees deep into Mexico Thursday in an effort to discourage them from trying to return, U.S. and Mexican officials said.

The first of twice-weekly flights from El Paso, Texas, to Mexico City left Thursday with 133 deportees aboard, all men.

ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas said the flights will accommodate up to 136 men and women but no children. Deportees fly from throughout the United States to Chaparral, New Mexico, for a short bus ride to El Paso.

The flights are not voluntary, unlike a previous program to deport Mexicans arrested by the Border Patrol during Arizona’s deadly summer heat. Mexico’s National Migration Institute said the flights will last six months, taking place every Tuesday and Thursday, and the Mexican government will pay for returnees’ travel from the Mexico City airport to their hometowns. A total of 6,800 people are expected to be returned under the program. Special accommodations are being made for minors traveling alone, Mexico said.

Under a two-month trial last year, more than 2,300 Mexicans returned on 18 flights. The U.S. and Mexico agreed in April to make the arrangement permanent.

ICE has long flown home deportees who are from countries that don’t share a land border with the U.S., most commonly Central Americans. Mexicans, who account for the vast majority people living in the U.S. illegally, are traditionally sent by plane or bus to a city along the 1,954-mile (3,145-kilometer) border with Mexico.

Thursday’s flight marks the beginning for regular air travel to Mexicans who are deported, a welcome development for authorities in Tijuana and other Mexican border cities who have complained they are getting overwhelmed by unemployed newcomers.

It comes as House Republicans are resisting the broadest changes to U.S. immigration laws in nearly three decades. The Senate has approved a plan that would offer a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

President Barack Obama has backed the proposed overhaul, while at the same time increasing deportations. His administration topped 400,000 deportations during the 2012 fiscal year.

More in Local News

Spring start set for big Everett apartment complex

The building will be eight stories tall, with seven of those visible from Broadway.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Clues in recovered backpack help identify robbery suspect

Police find a ticket with the man’s name on it after an attempted shoplifting at a Safeway.

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

County budget takes effect without Somers’ signature

The council passed its version with unanimous support and could have overridden an executive veto.

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Most Read