Arizona Immigration Law Prompts Mexico to Extend Repatriation Aid Program

Nacha Cattan and Sara Miller Llana, Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2010

In response to the controversial new Arizona immigration law, Mexico is extending a program that helps citizens living illegally in the US return home.

But few in Mexico are expecting a flood of new returnees. {snip}

{snip}

“There will not be a massive return, unlike what is expected,” says Rodolfo Cruz, a professor in the population studies department at the College of the Northern Border in Tijuana (COLEF). “In Mexico they do not have employment options, and they are well aware of this. . . . It would be much more expensive for them to return [to Mexico]. Because they’ll return, spend money, not find any [work] or find work that does not meet their economic needs and will go once more to the United States.”

The head of Mexico’s INM, Cecilia Romero, said that the repatriation program, is being extended this year because of concerns that more Mexicans will be driven out of Arizona. “It is probable that when the [new immigration] law of Arizona goes into effect, repatriations and deportations of Mexicans will go up,” she said recently.

The program will run from June 1 through Sept. 28, during which federal, state, and local authorities will help Mexican migrants, pointing them towards medical attention should they need it and helping them avoid criminal groups who prey on them on the way home.

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