More than 3,500 migrants were returned to their homeland.
Mexican Authorities have almost completely emptied government detention centers for migrants over the past five weeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Most of the migrants were returned to their countries of origin, according to official data published on Sunday.
In a statement, the National Institute for migration said that following health and safety recommendations, authorities are removing migrants from 65 centers where 3,759 people were held in March.
Over the past weeks, Mexico has returned 3,653 migrants to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador by road and air, leaving only 106 people in the centers.
The Institute noted that the total capacity of the centers and shelters under its management is 8,524 people.
Victor Clark Alfaro, a migration expert at San Diego State University, said the announcement was consistent with the Mexican government’s willingness to keep the number of migrants under control under pressure from US President Donald Trump.
“Today, Mexico’s policy is deterrence and deportations,” he said.
Dozens of other shelters across the country run by religious and non-governmental organizations continue to shelter migrants.
The centers of the National Institute for migration still have migrants waiting for the results of asylum applications or court hearings, as well as people who previously asked for permission to stay, a representative of the migration authorities said.
The vast majority of those expelled from the country are migrants detained by the authorities for being in Mexico illegally, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Some no longer want to stay in the centers because of the risk of contracting the coronavirus, the official added.
Most of the migrants who pass through Mexico to reach the US border are from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
More than 80 migrants from Guatemala, who were deported to their homeland from the United States, were infected with the coronavirus.