Left Menu
Development News Edition

Guatemala suspends deportation, asylum flights from U.S.

Reuters | Updated: 18-03-2020 02:43 IST | Created: 18-03-2020 02:43 IST
Guatemala suspends deportation, asylum flights from U.S.

Guatemala has suspended flights into the country carrying Guatemalans and other nationalities deported from the United States under a deal with Washington, the government said on Tuesday, amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. The deportations have formed part of U.S. pressure on Central American countries to shoulder the burden of stopping illegal immigration, which U.S. President Donald Trump has made a keystone of his re-election campaign.

In a statement, Guatemala's Foreign Ministry said it had suspended the flights until proper sanitary protocols could be established in the country to permit the safe return of the people to their places of origin. Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo said the flights would be halted for the duration of a "state of calamity" declared in the country, which is due to end on April 6.

Under pressure from Trump, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - the countries responsible for the bulk of illegal immigration north - agreed last year to deals with Washington that oblige them to accept migrants seeking asylum. Of the three, only Guatemala had so far implemented its agreement, under which about 1,000 Hondurans and Salvadorans seeking asylum in the United States have been sent to Guatemala to seek refuge there instead.

Human rights advocates have been critical of the agreements, saying that the trio of violent and impoverished countries were not well placed to provide asylum to vulnerable migrants. A final flight of deportees arrived in Guatemala on Monday from Brownsville, Texas, with 56 Guatemalans and 17 Salvadorans on board, the Guatemalan government said.

The decision to suspend the flights came after the Casa de Migrante shelter, a non-governmental reception center for deportees, said it was suspending activities to control the coronavirus. It was not immediately clear if deportation flights to Honduras were also suspended.

Asked by Reuters whether flights of deportees to Honduras were halted, Deputy Foreign Minister Nelly Jerez said only that the country's airports were closed, without giving further details. El Salvador's government did not respond to a question on whether deportations of its migrants would be halted. El Salvador's main airport will be closed from Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not immediately comment on the Guatemalan government's announcement. The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry said U.S. authorities had provided information on added sanitary measures to ensure that no deportees with symptoms of the coronavirus were sent back.



Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...


Latest News

GLOBAL MARKETS-World equities edge higher despite U.S.-China tensions

World stock markets hovered near three-month highs and safe-haven government bonds inched lower as risk appetite grew on signs that the global economic downturn has bottomed, despite worries over violent protests in the United States and un...

Kharge accuses govt of creating man-made calamity amid COVID- 19

Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday hit out at the union government, accusing it of creating a man-made calamity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, holding it responsible for the deaths of many migrants. What have you to say for a...

Delhi govt will soon announce plans to generate jobs: Official

The Delhi government will launch a special programme later this week to bring together job seekers and prospective employers in the city to generate more employment opportunities in wake of the coronavirus lockdown, an official said on Mond...

Five more die of coronavirus as infection count breaches 9,000-mark in Rajasthan

Coronavirus claimed five more lives in Rajasthan as the states infection count rose to 9,100 with 269 fresh cases on Monday. So far, the state has reported 199 deaths due to the infection, officials said.On Monday, three deaths were reporte...

Give Feedback