Dreams shattered, Indian youth deported for the first time ever from Mexico

Huma Siddiqui

Around 311 Indian undocumented migrants have been deported by the Government of Mexico from Toluca airport, to New Delhi.

According to a notification released by the National Migration Institute (INM), this is the first time ever that there has been transatlantic mass deportation from that country.

Those deported include one woman and 310 men, who are all adults and had been intercepted by the security forces in eight states including Oaxaca, Baja California, Veracruz, Chiapas, Sonora, Mexico City, Durango and Tabasco in Mexico in recent weeks. They all were arrested and were detained in holding camps before being put on a commercial flight Boeing 747 aircraft with capacity for 500 people to New Delhi from the Toluca City International Airport.

Indians are the sixth-largest group of undocumented immigrants in Mexico, with nearly 3,000 intercepted between January and August, and behind Honduras (with 66,000), Guatemala (37,000), El Salvador (15,000), Cuba (6,000) and Haiti (3,000).

The US President Donald Trump announced in June 2019 that the US had reached a 90-day agreement with Mexico to reduce migrant flows from Central America heading north and had pledged import duties of 5% would come into place, and rise every month if Mexico failed to act. A joint declaration stated from the US that said Mexico had agreed to take "unprecedented steps" to curb irregular migration and human trafficking.

Previously, immigrants arriving from other continents were detained for two days and then granted a safe passage that allowed them to transit through Mexico for 20 days so they could reach the US border.

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It is pertinent to note that between 2014-2019, the migration to Mexico of people from Asia, mainly from India and Bangladesh have gone up five times. "All these Indian immigrants are not looking to stay in Mexico but to continue on their way to the US. According to figures from the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid, only 29 Indians have applied for refuge in Mexico in the last two years," explained an immigration expert.

Read: Human Trafficking: Indian youth take dangerous South American route to enter US, Canada

Info-graph shows that in August, 50,693 people were apprehended between ports of entry on the Southwest Border as compared with 71,982 in the month of July and 94,904 in June.

Since 2013, India and China have surpassed Mexico as the countries with the highest number of immigrants in the United States, according to the Migration Policy Institute. As of 2015, there were 2.5 million Indians living in the country, the vast majority as highly skilled workers in technology-related areas. Like African immigrants, who have staged marches and protests in recent weeks, most Indian immigrants are detained at the Tapachula (Chiapas) immigration station in Southeastern Mexico, with no chance of continuing their way to the north of the country.