Cuba has agreed for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to accept American deportation flights carrying Cubans caught at the US-Mexico border.
US officials confirmed the agreement to Reuters and said it gives American authorities a new but limited tool to deter record numbers of Cuban border crossers.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has about a dozen Cubans in custody who failed an initial screening for asylum at the border.
ICE officials said the agency is waiting until it has enough Cuban deportees to fill a plane before sending one to Havana.
A third source familiar with the matter said there was not a new formal agreement for regular deportation flights but that Cuba had agreed to accept occasional groups of deportees.