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USBP & ICE Ramping Up Repatriation Flights; Effort Aimed at Reducing COVID-19 Exposure in U.S.

Release Date: 
May 19, 2020

SAN DIEGO — On Tuesday, May 19, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) San Diego Sector (SDC), in collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will begin transporting Mexican nationals with repatriations back to their country of origin via air flight.  All individuals will be medically screened to ensure they are fit for travel and surgical masks will be provided prior to boarding and worn throughout the flight.

With efforts coordinated between DHS and Government of Mexico (GoM) counterparts, both countries are facilitating the expulsion of these individuals.  The selection of Mexico City as the destination site was selected by GoM.

The overarching goal of these repatriation flights is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 into the U.S. and reduce the strain on Mexico’s resources along the border.

From March 20, 2020 to May 14, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has observed an increase in Mexican nationals who make repeated attempts to enter the U.S. illegally and bypass public health measures.  Some have reentered the U.S. illegally more than ten times during this period.  Such behavior increases the risk of exposure to immigration officials at the ports-of-entry, Border Patrol agents, and the American public.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021