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Biden administration deports migrants back to Cuba, Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras

“Thousands of migrants were removed, expelled, or left voluntarily yesterday,” ICE confirmed

Fotografía de archivo de migrantes formados en la frontera de México y EE. UU.
Fotografía de archivo de migrantes formados en la frontera de México y EE. UU. | EFE/Luis Torres

May 12, 2023 9:00am

Updated: May 12, 2023 9:00am

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Wednesday deported migrants from several countries, including Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala and Honduras.

“Thousands of migrants were removed, expelled or left voluntarily yesterday,” ICE confirmed in a press release published Thursday, also urging citizens not to trust smugglers.

Corey A. Price, executive associate director of Enforcement and Removal Operations, also warned that "people who do not have a legal basis to remain (in the country) will be deported."

ICE, along with other DHS agencies and Title 8 authorities, continue to work to “facilitate the safe, orderly, and humane processing of migrants, including expeditious processing and removal of persons without legal grounds to remain in the United States.”

Title 8, a policy that has been around for years and applied prior to March 2020 when Title 42 began to be implemented due to COVID-19, states that "the person who is removed is subject to a bar from admission to the United States of at least five years and may face criminal prosecution for any subsequent attempt to cross the border illegally," DHS explains.

Deportation flights to Cuba

The U.S. immigration authorities also repatriated 66 migrants to Cuba on Wednesday, in the second deportation flight to the island in less than a month.

The Office of Customs and Border Protection of the United States (CBP, for its acronym in English) indicated that of the deportees "36 were irregular maritime arrivals, 28 recent arrivals at the southwest border and 2 arrivals at ports of entry."

On April 24, ICE resumed the "deportation process for Cuban citizens who have received final orders of deportation," the statement added, assuring that the Title 8 procedure "integrates rigorous protection measures to prevent the return of individuals who may face persecution in their country of origin".

The operation is part of the emergency measures implemented by the Joe Biden Administration on the eve of the suspension of Title 42, which predicts an avalanche of immigrants at the southern border.