Friday, January 2, 2009

Guatemala: Thousands deported from Mexico, U.S.

Oftentimes the immigration debate regarding Mexico emphasizes those who cross the country’s northern border into the U.S. Yet that overlooks the problems regarding migrants from Central American countries like Guatemala crossing into Mexico.

Mexico’s seemingly out-of-control drug violence has spilled over into neighboring countries south of its border. "If the Guatemalan authorities are unable to stop the infiltration of Mexican drug cartels in two years they could take over Guatemala City," said the chief of the UN's International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala to BBC News. Guatemalan officials plan to deploy several hundred troops along the border to contain the incoming violence.

The increasing violence and the weakening economy are two of the main reasons why Guatemalans into Mexico. Some of these migrants subsequently try to make their way into the U.S. though the immigration crackdown in both countries has made it much more difficult:
Mexico deported more illegal Guatemalan migrants than the U.S. in 2007 and 2008, according to information reaching here from Guatemala City on Thursday.

In 2008, Mexico repatriated 36,362 Guatemalans, a 26.5 percent reduction from a year ago, while the United States deported 27,929people, which represented a 21 percent increase, the General Direction of Migration from Guatemala (DMG) said.

In 2007, Mexico deported 49,475 Guatemalans and U.S. deported 23,062.
One of the downsides to the increased migration from Central America is the reported abuses committed by Mexican immigration authorities.

Image- (“A Guatemalan deportee has his US ID tag removed by a Guatemalan immigration official after disembarking from the plane upon arrival 06 August, 2007 at a Guatemalan Air Force base south from Guatemala City.”)
Online Sources- Latina, MSNBC, BBC News, AFP, Xinhua, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

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