The Washington Office of the Episcopal Church reports on work to change the immigration and deportation practices of the U.S. What happens to those who are deported to Mexico?
In the coming weeks, the Obama administration is expected to conclude its review of immigration enforcement policies. The administration is likely to announce that it will suspend deportations for certain categories of migrants who have not committed serious crimes, including those serving in the U.S. military. While these changes would fall short of the demand made by many immigration advocates to halt deportations altogether, they could significantly reduce the total number of deportations. Nonetheless, many individuals will still be deported, including many Mexican nationals. If the administration truly aims to make deportations more “humane,” it must also pay attention to what happens to Mexican migrants after they are repatriated at the U.S.-Mexico border, and it must recognize that deporting migrants to dangerous parts of the border, especially in the night, places them in grave and unnecessary risk.
The current situation in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which borders Southeast Texas, clearly illustrates the potential risks faced by migrants at the border. In recent weeks there has been a sharp increase in violence in Tamaulipas. Daytime gun battles have been common: at least 64 people were killed in a series of shootings in April, including fourteen people who died on April 29 in a series of daytime shootouts in the border town of Reynosa. Two of the dead were federal police officers. On May 5, gunmen shot and killed the head of intelligence for the Tamaulipas Secretary of Public Security (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública, SSP) and his two bodyguards.
For a full report of the Episcopal Church resolutions and bills pending in Congress to reform immigration laws and polices read here.
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