The Mexican government this month is launching a program to register undocumented immigrants from Central America with photographs and fingerprints, the capital daily El Universal reported Monday.
According to the newspaper, the immigration agency project also plans to penalize anyone who gives aid to these immigrants, although it did not specify what sanctions are contemplated in such instances.
Each registration of undocumented aliens at any of the 48 immigration stations in Mexico will include “if possible, a photograph and a fingerprint,” according to the report.
The program was first suggested by the Mexican government at the beginning of the year, but its approval was delayed in March following criticism by civic organizations that saw it as a violation of human rights.
According to Interior Ministry statistics, in 2006 some 182,705 undocumented immigrants were detained in Mexico, most of them Guatemalans and Hondurans. This year it is estimated that close to 204,000 undocumented aliens will be taken into custody, virtually all of them crossing Mexico to reach the United States, a nation whose treatment of Mexican migrants is frequently the target of criticism here.