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News > Latin America

US, Mexico Deported 54,000 Guatemalans from January to June

  • Central American migrants who returned to Mexico from the U.S. sleep outside the Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral in Ciudad Juarez.

    Central American migrants who returned to Mexico from the U.S. sleep outside the Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral in Ciudad Juarez. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 July 2019

 The vast majority of people trying to reach the U.S. fleeing poverty, corruption and violence, come from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. 

United States President Donald Trump's fierce anti-migration policies have marked up the controls both in the United States and Mexico, leading to mass detention and deportation.

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The Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) reported Wednesday that 54,000 Guatemalans have been deported from January to June, without mentioning those who lost their lives during the crossing. The month of June saw the highest number of deportations, with more than 12,000 people deported, while the U.S. detained in May, a 13-year breaking record number of 144,000 migrants at the border with Mexico.

Mexico which had refused to become a third safe country drastically increased controls to detain people who pass over the country attempting to reach the U.S.

Guatemala also refused to sign an agreement with the U.S. to be declared a third safe country. Under such a deal, the Central American country would have been obliged to offer asylum to migrants who entered its territory en route to the U.S. Migrants from Honduras and El Salvador heading to the U.S.-Mexican border overland usually cross into Mexico via Guatemala.

The vast majority of people trying to reach the U.S. fleeing poverty, corruption and violence, come from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, although there are also people fleeing Haiti and African countries.

the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security issued a joint rule that blocks all migrants from applying for asylum at the southern border, requiring them first to attempt international protection in a safe third country, amid an increasing anti-migrant rhetoric by Donald Trump’s administration. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office (UNHCR) warned Tuesday that the new asylum application policies go against international obligations because they highly violate basic rights and freedoms. 

"We are concerned because some areas to which asylum seekers are being returned are very violent in Mexico,"  a spokesperson from the U.N. Human Rights Office commented.

According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. is currently detaining more than 50,000 migrants a day, most of them are asylum seekers protected by international law, escaping political persecution, gang and drug-related violence from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

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