The U.S. and Mexico entered into a prisoner transfer agreement in 1977. Since then, the two countries have signed 11 additional bilateral transfer agreements and two multilateral transfer conventions. On Wednesday, ICE transferred 59 Mexican nationals serving sentences for drug convictions in the U.S. to Mexican authorities at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in New Mexico.
The 59 male prisoners were all servicing sentences in the U.S. for "conspiring to possess with the intention to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture of substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine," according to ICE. The prisoners, who requested transfer to Mexico, will complete their sentences in their home country in accordance with the treaty.
"The transfer of these inmates, who will complete their drug sentences in their home country, demonstrates the robust cooperation between the United States and Mexico," said Juan Acosta, acting El Paso field director for ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations. "ICE is carrying out its mission by removing convicted criminal aliens from the country, and at the same time, saving taxpayer dollars by removing these individuals from our prison system."
Wednesday's transfer was the second such prison transfer in the current fiscal year. In December, 41 inmates were transferred to Mexico.
In addition to prisoners, ICE also turns over individuals wanted for crimes in Mexico. In August, ICE helped nab an illegal alien living in North Chesterfield, Virginia who was wanted for the alleged murder of his wife in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2010.
Three men wanted for homicide were turned over to Mexican authorities in April.
On a typical day in 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents also arrested an average of 23 wanted criminals.