When it comes to enforcing immigration laws, Mexico and the United States are on completely different levels.
As reported by Buzzfeed, our neighbor to the south has been resolute about deporting illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied minors, to their home countries:
Mexican officials have deported more than 13,000 of the 14,000 undocumented, unaccompanied minors who have been caught at Mexico’s southern border, a rate significantly higher than in the United States, according to government sources familiar with the situation.
Additionally, Mexican authorities have deported more than 64,000 of the estimated 69,000 adults that have been detained along their southern border this year.
Those numbers stand in stark contrast to the deportation of minor immigrants from the United States: None of the more than 60,000 Central American minors detained this year have been deported.
According to a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, those minors — who are estimated to total as many as 90,000 by year’s end — must first make their way through the legal system, which has seen significant backlogs, because they qualify to apply for asylum status.
That means Mexican officials have deported 93% of unaccompanied minors caught illegally crossing into Mexico.
But that also means that if 14,000 unaccompanied minors were caught in Mexico, and the U.S. is expecting as many as 90,000 at the end of the year, then a large number of children are getting by Mexican border patrol without getting detected.
Additionally, a new agreement between Mexico and Guatemala permits some immigrant minors to travel through Mexico legally for 72 hours – enough time to make it to the U.S. border.
While these and other factors such as resources and border size must be considered when comparing deportation statistics of Mexico and America, at the very least this illustrates two very different approaches to immigration law enforcement.
Editor’s Note: This article was edited after publishing.