An analysis from the Pew Research Center published Tuesday found that the Mexican government deported a record number of unaccompanied Central American children since last fall, leading to a drop in the number of minors the U.S. apprehended at it's southern border.
Mexico deported 3,819 Central American minors from October to February, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Mexican and U.S. government data. A 56% increase over the same period a year earlier.
As a result the United States saw a significant drop in the number of children it apprehended along the Mexico-U.S. border, the analysis found. U.S. officials took 12,509 unaccompanied Central American minors into custody during the same time Mexico increased its deportations, down from 21,403 over the same period a year ago.
Mexico amped up security along the 541 mile border it shares with Guatemala to stem the flow of human trafficking as part of the government's "Plan Frontera Sur." The plan was was launched in July in response to a surge of Central American children that started showing up on the U.S. border who were fleeing violence and poverty back home. Governments to the south also faced pressure from the Obama administration to stop the flow.
In August, BuzzFeed News reported that Mexico deported 93%, more than 13,000, of the unaccompanied minors officials detained at its border.
Data from the Mexican Ministry of the Interior also found that Guatemalan children now make up a higher share of deportations, doubling in the first five months of the fiscal year, October to February, compared to the same period a year ago.
The number of Salvadoran children deported increased by about 49% over the same time period and the number of Honduran children was similar to the previous year.