Mexico Offers Free Transport, Services to Illegal Immigrants Expelled by U.S.

Undocumented migrants deported from the United States will be eligible for free transportation back to their hometowns and other services under a new program launched by the Mexican government.

Migrants arriving in the city of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, will now be offered free tickets home, National Immigration Institute spokesman Raul Zarate said Monday at a ceremony to launch the program. Previously, the government had offered to pay half the cost.

The government has also assigned 10 agents to help deportees find temporary shelter and medical care, said Francisco Javier Reynoso, the institute's delegate in Baja California state.

The steps are part of a pilot program that will be expanded next to Nogales, Sonora, on the border with Arizona. Officials did not disclose the program's budget but said various government agencies will contribute.

About 230,000 Mexicans were deported.