Modest Results Will Curb Mexico Repatriation Program

July 11, 2014

Federal efforts to discourage repeat attempts to enter the U.S. illegally are being scaled back sharply after producing relatively modest results.

Federal officials say the reductions in the effort to drop undocumented immigrants into Mexico hundreds of miles from where they were apprehended reflect a need to shift resources to deal with the Central Americans pouring into Texas.

Under the Alien Transfer Exit Program, the government flew and bused hundreds of thousands of Mexican men to faraway border cities since 2008 in the belief they would give up after being separated from their smugglers.

But government stats and interviews with migrants in Mexican shelters suggest the dislocation is a relatively ineffective deterrent, especially for immigrants with spouses, children and roots in the U.S.