Border Patrol Halts Return to Mexico Flights
But with Border Patrol arrests at 40-year lows and fresh evidence suggesting more people may be heading south of the border than north, officials struggled to fill the planes and found the costs increasingly difficult to justify. Flights carrying up to 146 people were cut to once from twice daily last year.
And this summer, there haven’t been any.
“Everything comes down to dollars and cents,” said George Allen, assistant chief of the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector. “We’re running into a more budget-conscious society, especially with the government.”
He added: “Does it fit within our budget and is there an alternative that is not as effective but still effective?”
In an effort to keep the flights going, American authorities proposed mixing in Mexicans who commit crimes while living in the U.S. The Mexican government balked at seating hardened criminals next to families, elderly and the frail who recently crossed the border in search of work.