Mexico to deport Cubans heading illegally to US

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico has agreed to deport Cubans caught trying sneak illegally through Mexican territory to reach the U.S.

The agreement with Cuba is a step toward cutting off an increasingly violent and heavily used human trafficking route.

Mexico and Cuba signed the agreement Monday at a ceremony in Mexico City.

Mexico rarely sends back Cubans caught entering the country illegally. Many are given 30-day transit visas to continue on to Texas, where Cubans present only identity documents and undergo medical and background checks before being welcomed to America.

The U.S. generally allows Cubans who reach U.S. territory to stay, a policy the Cuban government says encourages Cubans to risk dangerous escape routes.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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