Mexico flies 300 Indian migrants to New Delhi in ‘unprecedented’ mass deportation

Above, the Feria Mesoamericana park used as shelter by migrants including from India in Chiapas, southern Mexico. Most of the 300 deportees were from India’s northern Punjab state. (AFP)
Updated 18 October 2019

Mexico flies 300 Indian migrants to New Delhi in ‘unprecedented’ mass deportation

  • Mexico vowed to significantly curb US-bound migration in exchange for averting US tariffs on Mexican exports
  • Most of the deportees were from India’s northern Punjab state

MEXICO CITY/NEW DELHI: Mexico has deported over 300 Indian nationals to New Delhi, the National Migration Institute (INM) said late on Wednesday, calling it an unprecedented transatlantic deportation.
The move follows a deal Mexico struck with the United States in June, vowing to significantly curb US-bound migration in exchange for averting US tariffs on Mexican exports.
“It is unprecedented in INM’s history — in either form or the number of people — for a transatlantic air transport like the one carried out on this day,” INM said in a statement.
The 310 men and one woman that INM said were in Mexico illegally were sent on a chartered flight, accompanied by federal immigration agents and Mexico’s National Guard. They arrived in New Delhi on Friday.
Most of the deportees were from India’s northern Punjab state, an Indian official said. Police will run checks if any of them had criminal history, another official said.
INM said the deportees had been scattered in eight states around Mexico, including in southern Mexico from where many Indian migrants enter the country, hoping to transit to the US border.
The backlog of migrants in southern Mexico has grown as officials have stopped issuing permits for them to cross the country, said Caitlyn Yates, a research coordinator at IBI Consultants who has studied increasing numbers of US-bound Asian and African migrants arriving in Mexico.
“This type of deportation in Mexico is the first of its kind but likely to continue,” Yates said.


Greece plans floating border barrier to stop migrants

Updated 33 sec ago

Greece plans floating border barrier to stop migrants

  • The Defense Ministry has invited private contractors to bid on supplying a 2.7-kilometer-long floating fence
  • Greece’s six-month old center-right government has promised to take a tougher line on the migration crisis

ATHENS: The government in Greece wants to use a floating barrier to help stop migrants from reaching the Greek islands from the nearby coast of Turkey.
The Defense Ministry has invited private contractors to bid on supplying a 2.7-kilometer-long (1.7 miles) floating fence within three months, according to information available on a government procurement website Wednesday. No details were given on when the barrier might be installed.
A resurgence in the number of migrants and refugees arriving by sea to Lesbos and other eastern Greek islands has caused severe overcrowding at refugee camps.
The netted barrier would rise 50 centimeters (20 inches) above water and be designed to hold flashing lights, the submission said. The Defense Ministry estimates the project will cost 500,000 euros ($550,000), which includes four years of maintenance.
The government’s description says the “floating barrier system” needs to be built “with non-military specifications” and “specific features for carrying out the mission of (maritime agencies) in managing the refugee crisis.”
“This contract process will be executed by the Defense Ministry but is for civilian use — a process similar to that used for the supply of other equipment for (camps) housing refugees and migrants,” a government official told The Associated Press.
The official asked not to be identified pending official announcements by the government.
Greece’s six-month old center-right government has promised to take a tougher line on the migration crisis and plans to set up detention facilities for migrants denied asylum and to speed up deportations back to Turkey.
Under a 2016 migration agreement between the European Union and Turkey, the Turkish government was promised up to 6 billion euros to help stop the mass movement of migrants to Europe.
Nearly 60,000 migrants and refugees made the crossing to the islands last year, nearly double the number recorded in 2018, according to data from the United Nations’ refugee agency.