On Sunday, Guatemala’s Police arrested 41 Brazilian, Chilean, and Haitian undocumented migrants who were heading to the United States. They will be deported to their countries.
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The ten migrant families were found at a house in the Cipresales neiborhood in Guatemala City and transferred to a health center, where they were tested for COVID-19.
Migration authorities will begin deportation procedures against them for unauthorized crossing of their territory. These migrants sought to arrive at Tapachula city (Mexico) to request refuge and later cross the U.S. border.
Every year, thousands of migrants arrive in Guatemala hoping to reach the United States. On several ocassions, the massive flows of migrants have prompted humanitarian crises in the Central American isthmus.
Since October 2020, U.S. agents have carried out 1,276,000 apprehensions or expulsions of undocumented migrants. In July, they made nearly 200,000 arrests.
Last week, hundreds of Central American migrants were deported from the United States to El Ceibo, a Guatemalan village where many of them lack options to return to their countries. To justify these deportations, U.S. migration authorities used the Trump-era Title 42 Act, which allows expelling migrants who allegedly pose a threat to public health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) strongly criticized this policy, arguing that it puts migrants at risk and ignores their asylum claims.