US, Mexico Deportees Flight Trial Program Ends

Both the U.S. and Mexican governments have completed a two-month experiment flying deportees from the United States to Mexico City with the aim of helping Mexican border cities overwhelmed by large numbers of people ordered out of the U.S.

These border cities have to deal with large numbers of displaced deportees, who have no roots and who often find themselves into organized crime.

Paid for by the U.S. government, flights ran twice a week from El Paso, Texas to Mexico City. The flights, operated by ICE, were not voluntary and carried mostly Mexicans with criminal convictions.

Now, the U.S. is looking to the new administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on whether to continue the effort.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said 2,364 Mexican nationals flew on 18 flights during the trial period, all but three of them men. Nearly 2,000 had criminal convictions in the U.S.

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The flights from El Paso, Texas, to Mexico City were not voluntary, unlike a previous program from 2004 to 2011 to deport Mexicans arrested by the Border Patrol during Arizona's deadly summer heat.

Two days before leaving office last week, then-Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa said Mexico's new administration would work with the U.S. government on whether to continue.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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