Mexico City/New York, May 4, 2020—The United States government must suspend all deportations to Latin America and the Caribbean as these actions are moving people from the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic to countries with lower rates of transmission and will exacerbate a public health crisis in the region, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.
"Despite the risk of contagion and the implications for people's health, the US has continued to organize flights to deport migrants and asylum seekers to their countries of origin,” said Marc Bosch, coordinator for MSF in Latin America.
In late March, the Trump Administration closed the US border to asylum seekers, creating an additional risk for people fleeing violence who now face the risk of COVID-19 and threats to their own lives when they are deported. Mexico is also carrying out deportations and voluntary repatriations for migrants who want to return to their home countries. In total, the US and Mexico have returned at least 6,500 Guatemalans, 5,000 Hondurans, and 1,600 Salvadorans between March and mid-April.