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Rep. Torres: Trump Admin Exporting Death as Deportations Spread COVID-19

April 15, 2020
Press Release
Sole Central American Serving in Congress Excoriates Admin for Callously Spreading Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Co-Chair of the Central American Caucus, Chair of the New Americans Caucus, and the only Central American currently serving in Congress, today responded to reports that Trump Administration deportations to the country of her birth, Guatemala, are leading to a spike of COVID-19 cases in the woefully unprepared nation.

 

“If the Trump Administration continues its callous deportation policies through the midst of this pandemic, the results will be predictable and tragic,” Rep. Torres said. “The Administration shouldn’t need a warning about this – common sense should be enough. The fact that it’s not speaks volumes about their competence in combating this disease, their empathy towards vulnerable people and less-developed nations, and their overall ability to rise and meet this moment.”

 

The deportations continue despite repeated requests from the Guatemalan government, which lacks the infrastructure to process the deportees or address the outbreak, to stop the flights.

 

“I know firsthand about the poverty and violence Guatemalans flee from when they seek asylum here,” Torres continued. “The Trump Administration’s policies threaten to further destabilize an already unstable region, which will only lead to more people making the dangerous trek to our southern border.”

 

News of the COVID-19 spike in Guatemala comes after the Trump Administration issued a memo last Friday authorizing visa sanctions against any nation that “denies or unreasonably delays” taking its citizens as they are deported from the United States.

 

“From the beginning of this Administration, deportations have been a way to outsource our challenges to other nations,” Torres added. “Coronavirus changes that – these deportations are exporting death.”

 

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