Tags: Coronavirus | Immigration | Trump Administration | deportation | guatemala | central america

US Migrant Deportations Spread Coronavirus to Central America

migrants being deported to guatemala wearing white board a school bus
Migrants, part of a group of 50 Guatemalans deported from the United States, wear face masks as a preventive measure against COVID-19 on June 9, 2020. (Johan Ordonez/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 June 2020 10:39 AM

The Trump administration’s deportation policy helped spread the coronavirus throughout Central America, according to a report from Refugee International released on Tuesday.

According to the group, which advocates for displaced people, about 20% of Guatemala’s coronavirus cases are linked to migrants who were deported from the United States, and almost 20% of migrants who were deported to Guatemala from the U.S. tested positive for the coronavirus since their arrival.

“Policies that address protection needs rather than exacerbate them require humanity, political will, and flexibility to achieve,” write the authors of the report, Yael Schacher and Rachel Schmidtke. “Now more than ever, policymakers must ensure that Guatemalans fleeing harm have access to refuge in the United States and Mexico and that Guatemalan returnees have access to safety, healthcare, and economic opportunity.”

They note that the conditions spreading the virus in immigrant communities in the U.S. and Central America are linked to the Trump administration’s policies, and that health experts have been raising concerns for years that the administration was creating a public health crisis in Mexico near the U.S. border with its “remain in Mexico” policy, according to The Daily Beast.

“Deportations and returns carried out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic compound these challenges and contribute to the spread of the virus,” write Schacher and Schmidtke. “Deportees from the United States made up nearly 20 percent of the 500 coronavirus cases in Guatemala and, as of early June, deportees continue to test positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Guatemala despite having clean bill-of-health documents from the United States.”

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The Trump administration's deportation policy helped spread the coronavirus throughout Central America, according to a report from Refugee International released on Tuesday. According to the group, which advocates for displaced people, about 20% of Guatemala's coronavirus...
deportation, guatemala, central america
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2020-39-23
Tuesday, 23 June 2020 10:39 AM
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