Mexico deported 33% more foreigners month-on-month in June, officials announced on Thursday, after the country agreed to take “unprecedented” steps to reduce migration in order to avoid US President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs.
The total number of deportations from Mexico in June was 21,912, up from 16,507 in May, according to preliminary figures from the national migration authority.
The upswing came after Trump threatened in May to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods if the country did not do more to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the US-Mexican border.
After a week of tense negotiations, the two sides announced a deal on Jun 7 under which Mexico agreed to send thousands of National Guardsmen to secure its borders and expand its policy of taking back asylum-seekers while the US processes their claims.
That policy, known as Remain in Mexico, has sent nearly 17,000 migrants back to Mexico so far.
In a separate statement, the Mexican government said it had sent a first group of 66 of those returnees back to their home countries, under a temporary new voluntary return program.
The Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran migrants were sent home overland from the border city of Ciudad Juarez after asking to be repatriated, it said.
The migration deal appears to be delivering Trump's desired result so far: the number of migrants taken into custody at the southern US border is expected to drop by 25% for June, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, said Friday. Under the deal, Mexico has 45 days to show results.
Trump said on Monday in Washington that Mexico is doing a great job.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has sought to avoid confrontation with the Republican billionaire, welcomed the comment.
I'm glad President Trump recognizes that we're making an effort to live up to our commitment to apply our laws and, without violating human rights, reduce the flow of migrants, he told a news conference.