Mexico Heightens Immigration Enforcement

By Jason Peña on July 8, 2019

Recently, Mexico deported 81 migrants back to Haiti. Several reports of a physical altercation had taken place between Mexican federal police and Haitian migrants in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico.

The Mexico City news publication El Sol de Mexico reported that 116 Haitian migrants were slated for deportation to their home country. The bloc of migrants and law enforcement left the migratory facility Siglo XXI, located in the municipality of Huixtla, by aircraft and stopped at Tapachula International Airport. During the aircraft change, numerous Haitians engaged in what was characterized as a 'riot' and 'mutiny' against law enforcement agents conducting the deportation operation. El Imparcial reported that the skirmish occurred after various Haitians attempted to flee the Boeing 727 airplane before departing to Port-au-Prince.

The brawl took over four hours to control and resulted in more than 30 Haitian migrants and 10 Mexican police officers being treated for injuries. Those 30 migrants will be transferred to Mexican detention. 81 Haitians were eventually deported back to their homeland. El Nuevo Herald reported, "technical and security considerations of the captain of the aircraft" as the reason for the delay. Mexico's National Institute of Migration released a public statement noting the preservation of human rights of the migrants and the coordination with the Haitian government in the deportation operation. 

Lately, the governments of the United States and Mexico have demonstrated cooperation in clamping down on illegal immigration heading north toward the United States. Recent discussions over trade and commerce have spurred the cooperation, including Mexican military forces at the border and better enforcement in the interior of Mexico.