Conditions Facing Guatemalans Deported from the US: Concerns and Recommendations for a Rights-Based Approach (2014, The Guatemalan Human Rights Commission)

An average of two ICE planes arrive every day at the Guatemala City airport carrying Guatemalans deported from the US; some individuals are detained in the desert a few days after crossing into the United States while others have lived in the US for years. An ICE official recently estimated that a total of 50,000 Guatemalans were deported from the US in FY 2014.

In order to stem the tide of children fleeing Central American countries, a situation that made headlines over the summer, the Obama Administration is aiming to deport unaccompanied children and families with children as soon as possible, including a “last in, first out” rapid deportation of recent arrivals.1 However, Guatemala’s rampant corruption and poor social services call into question that country’s ability to safely and humanely absorb increasing numbers of its deported citizens, especially children. It is also unlikely to be a successful strategy in the long term, while the reasons underlying migration remain unchanged.