Nearly 40 migrants have been sent back to Mexico through Nogales ports under a rule that officials say allows for rapid “expulsions” during a public health crisis.
The Department of Homeland Security says that the removals – which allow officers to send apprehended migrants back across the border in a matter of hours – are allowed under the emergency health law Title 42.
Border agents began the express deportations in March, and six people were sent back to Mexico through Nogales that month. Another 21 were removed in April and 16 had been sent back this month as of May 20, according to information provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
DHS officials have insisted that the so-called Title 42 expulsions are meant to safeguard public health.
Critics argue that they deny migrants’ rights and assert that the Trump administration has used the COVID-19 crisis as a pretext to implement tougher immigration policies.
The agency carried out 6,444 Title 42 expulsions in March and another 14,416 in April along the entire Southwest border, according to CBP statistics.
The rule was used on April 15 to remove the four undocumented passengers of a car that was stopped in Rio Rico after a pursuit, according to a CBP news release.
Truck driver hospitalized after crash on I-19 in Rio Rico
A semi-truck plowed into a broken-down passenger car parked on the side of Interstate 19 in Rio Rico early Monday morning, then rolled over, pinning the diver inside.
The driver of the semi, a 39-year-old man from Green Valley, was extricated from the vehicle and flown to a hospital in Tucson, “where he was admitted for injuries that appear to be non-life-threatening,” an Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman said.
The driver of the Scion was not in the vehicle at the time of the collision.
The crash reportedly occurred at 12:39 a.m. Monday on southbound Interstate 19 at Kilometer 20.
The left lane remained closed for the duration of the crash cleanup and re-opened just after 8:30 a.m., the DPS spokesman said.