The deportees stepped off their flight from El Paso looking bewildered — 135 men who had left families and jobs behindafter being swept up in the Trump administration’s mounting effort to send millions of undocumented immigrants back to their economically fraught homeland.
As they filed into Mexico City International Airport last week, government employees handed them free ham-and-cheese sandwiches, Mexican ID cards and information directing them to social services in the capital.
“Welcome back!” a cheerful government worker called out, taking down names and phone numbers.
Then the men, who had spent as many as 20 years in the United States before being caught and held in detention for several weeks, walked out into a Mexico many of them barely remember, where job opportunities are scarce and worries about the worst inflation in a decade await them.
In the wake of new enforcement policies announced by the Trump administration last week that dramatically expand the pool of undocumented immigrants targeted for deportation, Mexico is bracing for an influx of men and women like them. Their arrival — along with a surge of undocumented immigrants leaving the United States voluntarily — promises to transform Mexican society in the same way their departure did.
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