March 19, 2020 / 2:48 PM / 12 days ago

Guatemala resumes deportation flights of Guatemalans from U.S.

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala will resume flights into the country carrying Guatemalans deported from the United States, its government said, partially reversing an earlier suspension implemented amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

Flights deporting people of other nationalities will remain suspended, Guatemala’s foreign ministry and migration institute said in a statement late on Wednesday, a day after announcing the halt to flights.

Under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - the countries responsible for the bulk of illegal immigration north - agreed last year to deals with Washington that oblige them to accept migrants seeking asylum.

Of the three, only Guatemala had so far implemented its agreement, under which about 1,000 Hondurans and Salvadorans seeking asylum in the United States have been sent to Guatemala to seek refuge there instead.

Guatemala’s government said it would receive a flight of 99 Guatemalans on Thursday, who will be placed in home quarantine as a preventative health measure.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Paul Simao and Nick Zieminski

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