Tucson, AZ- The federal government is putting an end to a seven year program, which cost $100 million, where illegal immigrants are flown back to Mexico.
Since the beginning of 2004, over 100,000 immigrants captured by ICE were flown deep into Mexico on the taxpayer’s dime. The program was originally met with criticism from the Mexican government and migrants, but was perceived as way to get immigrants back on their feet and discourage repeat illegal border crossings.
With illegal immigration at a 40 year low, essentially at net zero, the program was dropped. The flights, carrying an average of 146 people, departed twice daily, but were reduced to one flight per day last year.
The flights began as a humane response after numerous immigrants died while crossing the border in the summer heat, but there were no flights this summer.
“Everything comes down to dollars and cents,” said George Allen, assistant chief of Border Patrol’s Tucson office, “We are running into a more budget conscious society, especially with the government.”
American authorities suggested continuing the flights with a mix of criminals facing deportation, and non-criminal offenders. But it is unlikely that Mexican authorities would approve of allowing the elderly and families to be seated near potentially violent criminals.
Deportation can be prevented with the help of an immigration attorney, but it takes a strong defense. With expert representation, it is possible to stop deportation and begin the path to a legal presence in the U.S.