GUATEMALA – Guatemala has received a fourth group of children deported from the United States since the humanitarian crisis of children travelling alone to the U.S. began, an official source said.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plane landed Thursday at the Guatemala Air Force base in the capital, with 11 families made up of 13 children and 11 mothers, Guatemalan foreign ministry spokesperson Rafael Amado told Efe.
The flight, carrying 111 other deportees, came from Roswell (New Mexico), in the southwest of the U.S., Amado said.
The Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said repatriated minors total more than 50 since the humanitarian crisis broke out in June following the massive exodus of unaccompanied children trying to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. illegally.
The age of the minors deported Thursday ranges between one and 11 years, said Amado.
U.S. border patrols have detained around 14,000 children and teenagers at the southern border of the United States since October, the ministry said.
The first flight with children deported back to Guatemala landed on July 18.
The crisis of the unescorted children was addressed on July 25 in a meeting between the Presidents of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina; El Salvador, Salvador Sanchez Ceren; Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, and of the United States, Barack Obama.
According to experts, the majority of the Central American children wish to emigrate to the U.S. to reunite with families and escape violence and poverty in their countries.
Around two million Guatemalans live in the U.S., 60 percent of them illegal immigrants.
So far this year, 34.961 illegal immigrants have been deported by air from the United States, according to data from the Guatemalan immigration department.
In 2013, 51.225 Guatemalans were deported.