The Realities of Returning Home: Youth Repatriation in Guatemala (2015, Alejandra Argueta, Nathan Hesse, Michael Johnson, and Warren Newton)

In the summer of 2014, record numbers of migrants from Central American countries, many of them unaccompanied minors, were intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border. In the United States, much of the debate in the media and in Congress focused on how to process and return these migrants to their countries of origin—but what happens to these migrants after they are returned? This report provides a brief background on the contemporary socioeconomic issues facing the countries of the Northern Triangle, particularly Guatemala. The study examines the repatriation of Guatemalan migrants, both in practice and theory, and concludes with a series of policy recommendations for Guatemalan civil society and government to improve repatriation policies and practice. The authors chose Guatemala as the focus of this report because of the country’s initial lead on repatriation services as compared to its neighbors, evidenced by investments and programs instituted by organizations such as Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and the International Organization on Migration (IOM).