Repatriation flights for Mexican illegal immigrants ended Tuesday returning the most people back to Mexico since the program started. A total of 23,384 people were flown from Tucson to Mexico City this summer. The repatriation-flight program, in its seventh year, began June 1. The program allows illegal border-crossers apprehended in the Yuma and Tucson sectors to accept a flight to Mexico City and a bus ticket to their home towns. In the four months of the program, two flights left daily from Tucson International Airport. The program is run jointly by the U.S. and Mexican governments. The idea is to break the cycle of people crossing the border, then being bused back to Mexico, only to re-unite with smugglers and try crossing again. Its run in the summer to help people avoid the risk of dying in their desert trek. About 116,000 illegal immigrants have taken the flights back during the seven years of the program. More than 1,500 people have died crossing into the Tucson sector during the same period. 23,384 illegal immigrants took 'repatriation' flights to Mexico City from Tucson, feds say And who foots the bill???? Or is it dumb to ask?