UPDATED 7:46 AM PT – Thursday, January 7, 2021
The U.S. has continued to carry out deportations into the new year with more than 100 undocumented immigrants being returned to Guatemala.
On Wednesday, roughly 110 immigrants arrived by plane in Guatemala City. This is part of a greater plan to crack down on arrivals from Central America to the U.S.
El Centro USBP agents arrested an MS-13 gang member on Sunday when he tried to illegally enter the US, preventing another criminal from gaining a foothold in our border communities and beyond. Borders matter! https://t.co/bcgfqJhK0G pic.twitter.com/NuB6YQAlIE
— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) January 6, 2021
According to the Guatemalan government, more than 45,000 nationals were deported from the U.S. in 2020. However, deportation operations have been slower in recent months when compared to 2019 due to challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“All come wearing their face masks, and following the protection and hygiene measures. This is the first flight we receive in the new airport facilities,” explained Stuart Rodriguez, Guatemalan Migration Institute Director. “The good news is that they are going home, they will not have to comply with the quarantine since the new protocols tell us that they can go home.”
The country is regarded as one of the most violent countries in Latin America due to gangs and drug traffickers.