Last year, Mexico deported 89,000 Central Americans, including 9,000 children, the bulk of the returnees coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, officials have said. In the fiscal year that ended last September, the United States sent back 106,420 from those countries.
So far this year, Mexico has detained 53 child migrants a day, mostly Central American, double the pace of the same period last year. It has deported more than 30,000 Central Americans so far this year, including more than 14,000 Hondurans, driven home on packed buses at least three times a week.
Francisco Alba, a migration scholar at the Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City, said the influx creates a conundrum: It is almost impossible to stop the flow, yet the country cannot support a large population of refugees.
“There is not really much the country can do about it,” Mr. Alba said. “It cannot really stop these flows. Its tradition is to not have these tight controls and to have a relatively accommodating attitude toward migration, to a point.”