MEXICO CITY - Mexico will no longer jail illegal immigrants detained within its borders... a move that could make it easier for many of them to make their way into the U.S.
A measure that takes effect Tuesday eliminates jail times for illegal immigrants caught in Mexico. Most are crossing the country from Central America en route to the U.S.
Undocumented immigration will now be considered a minor offense, punishable by fines equal to US$100 to US$500. Illegal immigrants previously faced up to 10 years in prison, though most were simply deported.
Mexican legislators who backed the revision say Mexico's previous penalties complicated efforts to lobby for better treatment of Mexican immigrants in the U.S.
Activists want more to be done to protect migrants in Mexico, where many are robbed and abused on their way north.