Mexican Airline Wants To Help Return Central American Migrants

By Jorge Valencia
Published: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 5:28pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 10:57am

Mexican discount airline Volaris is offering to fly Central American immigrants in Mexico back to their countries of origin, under a program the company has called “Reuniting Families.” 

Volaris will fly immigrants from Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara and Mexico City to Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rico for $1 plus taxes, the airline said in a statement. Migrants need only show government ID and be willing to board the next available flight. The program runs through June 30. 

The Mexican government has been under pressure from the U.S. to reduce the rate of migrants arriving by land to the two countries’ border. Mexico and the U.S. struck a deal earlier this month under that the U.S. could send thousands of asylum seekers to Mexico. 

“Volaris in this way reinforces its commitment to reunite families,” the statement said. The company is “offering an alternative solution to the migration phenomenon seen in recent months.”

Many who want to return to their native countries will likely take advantage of the offer, but the program also benefits Mexico’s federal government, said Ramon Verdugo, who manages a migrant shelter in Tapachula, a city in southern Mexico. 

“The federal government has to figure out a way to solve the overpopulation in its immigrant detention centers and the growing number of migrants in some cities,” Verdugo said.

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