The United States has expeditiously deported at least 600 Guatemalans in the last 45 days, in the framework of Title 42, a public health policy due to the covid-19 pandemic, said on Monday the country’s ambassador to Guatemala, William Popp.
The express flights, which began last July 30, have prioritized sending entire families from the United States by air to the Migrant Reception Center, located in the facilities of the Guatemalan Air Force, south of Guatemala City.
“This is an expedited return, to do so during the pandemic, in a quick and safe manner. The Guatemalans arrive at the Reception Center, financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), inaugurated last July 7 by President Alejandro Giammattei,” Popp emphasized in a press conference.
Due to the fact that the U.S. border is experiencing “a record level of (arrival of) migrants” which is approaching 30,000 Guatemalans in recent days, the U.S. government decided to send from this week “two flights per day, with 130 people on each flight, on average,” added the ambassador.
Popp’s remarks were made during a joint press conference with Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo.
The ambassador added that the United States will donate 64,000 covid-19 test kits to the Migrant Reception Center to help detect new cases of the disease and prevent its spread.
Joe Biden’s Administration “is committed to working with Guatemala to implement a fair, orderly and humane migration system that firmly maintains border security and also contributes to the joint security of our region,” concluded the official.
According to figures from international organizations, every year more than 300,000 Guatemalans try to migrate irregularly to the United States to escape poverty and violence in the Central American country.
From January 1 to September 10, Guatemala has received 4,163 Guatemalans deported from the United States by air.
Last year, 16,709 Guatemalans were returned by air, most of them deported from Texas, in the southern United States.
In addition, 26,529 Guatemalan migrants were deported by land from Mexico between January and September, 10,000 more than in the same period last year.