The United States on Friday began deporting migrants by air to countries in Central America, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The Department of Homeland Security declined to say how many people were involved. The expedited deportations last took place during the Trump administration, where they were known as “doc-free flights”.
The flights are part of a renewed policy to speed up the deportation of people entering the United States through Mexico without a visa, a tactic used in the past by the Republican and Democratic governments. Its purpose is to discourage illegal immigration. “We make it clear that those who are not eligible to stay in the United States will be immediately deported,” the ministry said.
The number of illegal migrants captured by US authorities near the border with Mexico rose 4.5% in June, despite forecasts of lower warm summer temperatures. The US border has already attracted a record number of migrants during the pandemic, after powerful storms ravaged Central America.
About a third of the illegal migrants arrested in June came from Mexico, followed by Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Most South American illegal migrants came from Ecuador and Venezuela.
Children crossing the border without a parent or guardian are allowed to stay in the country by the US government, regardless of their immigration status. In June, they were over 15,000, 8% more than in May.