The U.S. and Mexico announced today that they have resumed their Interior Repatriation Initiative, an agreement facilitating the deportation of Mexican nationals who have crossed illegally into the U.S.
The goal is to return Mexican deportees to the interior of Mexico and keep them far from the border. A flight carrying 133 deportees flew today to Mexico City where "the government of Mexico will provide additional transportation to their cities of origin," according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement.
The news made me wonder if the Barack Obama administration's record pace of deportations -- 1.5 million in his first term -- had eased as the president works to nudge Congress toward comprehensive immigration reform.
In its last fiscal year, 2012, the administration deported a record 409,849 undocumented immigrants -- a rate of about 34,000 a month. For the seven months from Oct. 1, 2012, to June 1, 2013, the pace was about 10 percent slower, but the number was still huge: 246,333, according to ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas.
Perhaps Republicans in the House figure if they resist immigration reform long enough, there won't be any undocumented immigrants left in the U.S. to legalize.
(Francis Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. Follow him on Twitter.)