Positive cases of COVID-19 continue among deportees

The US continues sending deportees infected to Guatemala

The US continues to deport in the name of public health

Despite the threat of Coronavirus, Trump’s administration continues deportations at a regular rate. The real inconvenience is that dozens of deportees have tested positive on the COVID-19 exam.

What are the current deportation policies?

Since President Trump took office in 2017, he has focused heavily on reducing immigration in general, making deals with Central American countries and offering monetary aid to curb illegal immigration.

The president assures that immigration is a negative aspect for the local population since many immigrants want to request asylum or refuge in the US and, according to his opinion, that means they will use social benefits without being productive for the socioeconomic development of the country.

During 2019, Trump’s government signed an agreement with Guatemala that declares that the Central American country receives deportees who do not meet the requirements to apply for asylum or refuge in the US.

In this way, if immigrants are not legal citizens of Guatemala, they can request asylum there or wait to be deported to their countries.

What happened during the Coronavirus outbreak?

The world health crisis we are experiencing is unprecedented. Some immigration policies have been temporarily modified due to the risk of COVID-19. For example, all requests for asylum and refuge are currently suspended in the US.

This means that any immigrant who reaches the country’s borders will be deported to a Central American country or to his/her native country.

Guatemala opposes mass deportations

It is not a mystery that the countries of Central America do not have a solid medical structure to withstand a massive outbreak of Coronavirus in their territories.

Therefore, Guatemala asked the US government to deport only legal citizens to avoid a massive spread of the virus.

However, during the last week, dozens of immigrants deported to Guatemala have tested positive on the COVID-19 exam.

The US is supposed to have strict health regulations before deporting immigrants.

On the other hand, Guatemala has a provisional shelter located at the capital’s airport, where the deportees are quarantined.

However, space is limited and when immigrants infected with COVID-19 arrive, it is more difficult for the Guatemalan government to mitigate the entry of the virus in its territory.

The numbers of deportees infected with Coronavirus during the last week is alarming.

  • In one of the planes in charge of transporting deportees from the US to Guatemala, there were 32 passengers infected with Coronavirus.
  • On another of the US-sponsored flights, they did several random tests and 12 deported immigrants were infected with Coronavirus.

This is a major concern for Latin American countries who do not have enough medical supplies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

The Guatemalan government openly expressed its concern regarding this situation and repeatedly asked the US to make stricter sanitary controls before proceeding with the deportations.

In addition, the Guatemalan administration mentions that more than 30 employees from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are already infected with COVID-19 and this is a threat for deported immigrants as well.

In fact, some immigrant rights advocates have accused President Trump of sending infected immigrants in the name of local public health. They say that putting the health of a neighboring country at risk is against human rights and represents a great danger to millions of people in Central America.

Guatemala’s actions

Guatemala decided to suspend deportations from the United States last week due to the massive outbreak on immigrant flights.

However, the US government reminded Guatemala about the asylum agreement they signed last year.

Guatemala remains firm in its position for now since the most important thing for governments is to try to take care of their territories or work together to avoid a massive spread of the virus.

If you have any questions about an immigration issue or relating to a case you may have currently in progress, then please don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE Phone Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys.

Simply call Motion Law today at: (202) 918-1799.