The Department of Homeland Security is expanding the federal program that returns illegal immigrants to Mexico to await the outcome of their court hearing by busing illegals caught at the border in Tuscon, Arizona, to El Paso.
DHS says El Paso is much better equipped to house the illegals and already has infrastructure in place to return them to Mexico.
Officials have previously said that returns to Mexico would be expanded border wide. Tucson was one of the last areas without a program to send migrants back to Mexico.
Mexico plays a “huge role” in the program’s expansion progress as well, since the US has to coordinate with Mexico on each location where returns will take place, said the official. The biggest issue for returns to Mexico near Tucson is capacity on the US side. That could change as the program continues to grow, according to the official.
Officials estimate one busload a day of migrants will go from Tucson to El Paso. Once in El Paso, migrants will be interviewed and likely returned to Ciudad Juárez, said the official.
There is also the question of where best to process the illegals.
A DHS spokesperson, who declined to be named, said the department is “strengthening MPP implementation and operations at two locations.”
“We’ve always had the option to give people who appear there court dates in other cities but now we are actually transporting them from certain areas over to the cities with courts,” said the spokesperson in a statement.
Last month, DHS announced it had expanded the program to the Eagle Pass Port of Entry, in Eagle Pass, Texas, which brought the total number of ports of entry with returns to Mexico to six.
Administration officials have credited the program with helping decrease the number of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border.
The agreement with Mexico and Honduras to return illegals to where they can wait for their court dates has done exactly what the Trump administration had hoped: the policies have eased the humanitarian crisis at our border, taken some of the burden off of CPB and the immigration courts, and has slowed the human wave of arrivals, discouraging those who may have come hoping to be released into the interior.
Trump will get no credit for this from those who deliberately planned for chaos at our borders. They will no longer be able to use the suffering of poor, desperate people as a political weapon against the president.