"The flights will continue to the end of the year on a twice-weekly basis but could be increased, officials said, particularly if they are effective in discouraging reentry.

Although the flights represent an added cost for ICE, expanded cooperation on immigration issues with Mexican authorities could bring the agency significant long-term savings.


Illegal immigration to the United States is at its lowest levels since the early 1970s, but Central American migrants represent a larger share than ever of illegal border-crossers. A portion of the $2 billion U.S. security aid package to Mexico, the Merida Initiative, is helping provide training and technology for customs agents and border guards in southern Mexico.

But Mexico has its own interests in firming up its porous southern border, analysts say.

“Mexico isn’t only doing this because of some calculus with the United States,” said Eric Olson, a Central America scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. “It has legitimate concerns that the southern border is a vulnerability.”"



For the full aricle, originally published by The Washington Post, click here.