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DHS Stops Mass Deportations to Presidio

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The Department of Homeland Security has suspended its deportations through the Presidio port of entry. Apparently, it was not due to Governor Perry’s last minute letter of concern but because there were not enough immigrants to fill up the two Wackenhut busses they were sending every day from Arizona.

John Waters, publisher of the Big Bend Gazette, dropped me a line yesterday to let me know the feds had suspended the program “for now.” The Gazette had been following the short-lived deportation program since it began in November.

The Gazette reports that Bill Brooks, the border patrol’s Marfa Sector spokesman said the program had been suspended “primarily because the Tucson Sector’s number of daily apprehensions dropped and they could no longer fill a bus with qualified candidates for repatriation.”

The reduction, however, was not due to the border wall or increased surveillance. Brooks cited a “seasonal decline in illegal entries into the U.S. as the main reason for the decreased number of Tucson Sector apprehensions.”

“The program could very well resume at any time,” he told the Gazette.

Melissa del Bosque joined The Texas Observer staff in 2008. She specializes in reporting on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work has been published in national and international publications including TIME magazine and the Mexico City-based Nexos magazine. Melissa is a 2014-15 Lannan Fellow at The Investigative Fund.