A U.S. effort to discourage immigrants' repeated attempts to enter the country illegally by dropping them back in Mexico hundreds of miles away from where they were caught has been sharply scaled back after producing relatively modest gains.
U.S. authorities insist the Alien Transfer Exit Program has contributed to overall achievements in border security and say the cutbacks reflected a need to shift resources to deal with Central Americans pouring into Texas.
The government has flown or bused hundreds of thousands of Mexican men to faraway border cities since 2008, believing they would give up after being separated from their smugglers.
But government statistics and interviews with migrants in Mexican shelters suggest the dislocation is a relatively ineffective deterrent, especially for immigrants with spouses, children and roots in the U.S.
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