Mexico City, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- The Mexican authorities arrested 95 Central American immigrants who crossed the country by plane from the south to the north, near the United States border, the National Institute of Migration (INM) reported Saturday.
According to the INM statement, the immigrants landed on Friday afternoon at the Monterrey International Airport, the capital of Nuevo Leon, where they could not show papers permitting them to stay in the country.
The detainees – 70 Hondurans, 14 Guatemalans, six Salvadorans and five Cubans – arrived as tourists on two commercial flights, one from Villahermosa in Tabasco state and another from Cancun in Quintana Roo, both in southeastern Mexico.
Most of them claimed to be traveling with their families, and were handed over to the National System for Integral Family Development, along with eight unaccompanied minors.
The rest were transferred to an immigration office in New Leon to “initiate the administrative process” for their deportation.
These arrests occurred the same day Mexico first imposed non-essential travel restrictions on its southern border with Guatemala and Belize.
Although the Mexican government attributed the closure of its border to the pandemic, the decision coincides with the US’ demand for cooperation on illegal immigration.
On Feb. 19, US President Joe Biden lifted the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) introduced by his predecessor, Donald Trump that required asylum seekers to wait for months on the Mexican side of the border to have their documents processed.
Following the revocation, the US is expected to receive the largest immigration wave in 20 years, and Biden has asked immigrants to not come to the country until the new policies are properly defined. EFE-EPA