President Barack Obama’s administration is planning a vast operation to round up and expel from the United States migrant families who fled drought and violence in Central America, reports said Thursday.
Any such crackdown would be hugely controversial, with immigration one of the hottest topics in the 2016 presidential campaign, and rights groups expressed grave concern at the deportations.
The flow of families and unaccompanied children crossing into the United States from Mexico slowed this year, but the numbers surged upwards again in October and November.
Several Latin American countries are in the grip of violent lawlessness and the El Nino weather pattern has plunged a number of countries in the region into drought.
The Department of Homeland Security did not dispute anonymously sourced reports in The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal that a crackdown is imminent.