The pace of deportations to Mexico has significantly increased in President Donald Trump’s second year in office.
According to the Associated Press, Mexican government data shows the U.S. deported 53,764 Mexicans in the first three months of the year, up 40 percent over the same quarter a year earlier.
Deportations during Trump’s first year in office were around 177,000 fewer than during President Barack Obama’s first year in office in 2009. The number during Trump’s first year was also lower than any year during Obama’s presidency, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data.
But that trend has reversed. The surge in deportations for the first three months of this year have surpassed the total for the same period in 2016, the final year of Obama’s presidency.
Deportations to Mexico RISE… https://t.co/P81aTHkxCp
— NEWS MAKER (@NEWS_MAKER) May 9, 2018
While deportations may have been down during Trump’s first year in office, ICE officers arrested far more suspected illegal immigrants in the months after Trump took office than in the same period of 2016.
According to Reuters, ICE officers arrested nearly 111,000 people between Jan. 20 and Sept. 30, a 42-percent increase over the prior year.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection also reported a decline in the number of people trying to enter the country illegally during Trump’s first year in office.
CBP reported approximately 311,000 apprehensions in the 2017 fiscal year and 216,000 people trying to enter at official ports of entry despite being inadmissible. That was down 23.7 percent from the previous year.
“Overall removals are down (in 2017) because the border is under better control than it has been in 45 years,” Thomas Homan, deputy director of ICE, said at a December news conference.
A burgeoning backlog in U.S. immigration courts also slowed the deportation rates, as a growing number of immigrants claim they will be harmed if they are deported to their home countries.
Advocacy groups have not only been critical of the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigrants, there is now criticism that officials in Mexico are not doing enough to help deportees.
“Mexico’s neglect of reintegration isn’t new; the same was true after mass deportations during the Great Depression,” writes Alexandra Delano Alonso in an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times. “Still, the current wave of deportations has been underway for years, and the needs of the thousands of people returning each week are clear. They need identification, housing, education, job placement and physical and mental health services.”
Among the problems deportees cite is discrimination against returnees based on the American accents that are heard in their Spanish, or even their appearance.
Because the U.S. government prioritizes deportations for those arrested for serious crimes, returnees are also stigmatized as criminals in Mexico.
“The Mexican government has been keen to look only in the direction of those who have gone north — and who support millions of families with the remittances they send home,” Alonso said. “It is time Mexico shows the same concern for those crossing back into Mexico, including reducing the inequalities that pushed them to leave in the first place.”
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