The majority of Irish students are enjoying their summer stay in the US but it hasn't been an easy few weeks for some J1 students.
An unofficial number of students have been deported from the US as they try to cross the Mexican border into South America. One Irish student on a J1 visa spent four days in custody until they were eventually sent back to Ireland.
Irish outreach centres in California are advising Irish students not to travel to Mexico during the remainder of their visa. According to The Irish Sun, a source spoke about how J1 students are being detained in Mexico:
For the last two weeks in a row, J1 students have been detained at the border by Mexico’s Customs and Border Protection for removal to Ireland. One student removed still had an active J1 visa and another was unaware that her visa had been made inactive after failing to check in with her sponsor as required.There are a lot of disappointed students here who had planned to make the trip down as it’s a bit of a ritual every year for those who visit San Diego.
Students must keep in contact with their sponsors throughout their stay in the US or risk being deported. Traditionally, J1 students visit Mexico as it's a popular place to party with the legal age limit for drinking set at 18 rather than 21.