MEXICO CITY—Mexico increased detentions and deportations of migrants in March as the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador steps up law enforcement against a wave of illegal immigration that has created havoc for the Biden administration.
Detentions of Central American migrants jumped 32% to 15,800 in March from February, and more than doubled compared with March of last year, according to data from Mexico’s immigration agency shared with The Wall Street Journal.
Deportations rose 61% from February to 9,400 last month, and were up 65% from a year earlier.
Mexican officials said efforts against irregular migration are continuing in April after more than 170,000 migrants were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border in March, the highest number in 15 years. The number of unaccompanied minors at the U.S. border, most of them from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, hit a record.
The influx of migrants, most of them fleeing poverty, unemployment and violence in their home countries, has led to overcrowding at shelters and overwhelmed U.S. immigration authorities, posing an early challenge for President Joe Biden.