MEXICO CITY – The Department of Homeland Security (search) is taking a new approach to repatriating illegal immigrants, sending those who volunteer home on flights from Tucson, Ariz., to Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico.
Each year roughly 3 million illegal immigrants sneak across the border from Mexico into the United States. The Border Patrol (search) has recently stepped up enforcement by patrolling the waterways and skies, and even positioning camouflaged agents in the mountains.
But by returning illegal immigrants deep into the heart of Mexico rather than dropping them off just south of the border, officials hope the immigrants might not be as eager to try and cross the border again.
"The goal is to discourage illegal entry into the United States and also to save lives," said Homeland Security Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson.
But immigrants interviewed on one repatriation flight (search) told FOX News they're likely to try again to slip back into the United States.
"I came here for a job. There's no work in Mexico City. I'm going to try again in the end of December, but it's not going to be through the desert," one immigrant said through a translator.
Click on the video box near the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Anita Vogel.