Repatriating some of the undocumented migrants detained in Mexico won’t come cheap.
National Immigration Institute (INM) chief Francisco Garduño said immigration authorities are holding 715 immigrants from outside the Americas, and that deporting them will cost the Mexican government 56 million pesos (US $2.9 million).
“Right now, we have 715 migrants we have to send to Asia, Europe and Africa,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at the National Palace on Monday, Garduño said there are 5,000 migrants being held in 66 facilities around the country, and that feeding each one costs about 120 pesos a day.
What do they eat? The food to which they are accustomed, Garduño said.
“. . . based on a human rights recommendation, you can’t give the same food to Chinese nationals as to people from India. You have to give different food to different nationalities based on what they are used to,” he said. “We’re making an effort with the food.”
Garduño admitted that conditions in some migrant detention centers are “deplorable” because of overcrowding and deterioration, and need to be improved. He noted that improvement projects have already started at two of the centers with the worst conditions: Siglo XXI in Tapachula, Chiapas, and the center in Acayucan, Veracruz.
Attention is also being provided to children. “We want minors to be able to have a formal education . . .” he said.
Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announced that 60 million pesos from the Infrastructure Fund for the Countries of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, also known as the Yucatán Fund, will be used to improve conditions in detention centers in Mexico.
The fund is a financial cooperation instrument set up by the Mexican government in 2012 to promote infrastructure development projects in Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Garduño also admitted that there continues to be corruption in the INM, despite efforts by the federal government to control it. Since President López Obrador took office, the governmenthas sanctioned 21 INM officials for acts of corruption against migrants, and three officials face criminal charges for extortion of migrants.