‘Truthfully, it’s frustrating’: Guatemalans criticize delays at L.A. consulate in the El Salvadoran immigration crisis, USA Today, March 24, 2017.
“There needs to be a real plan,”
“I think it is unfortunate that the agency is doing this,”
“It is a disgrace that the consulate has made the decision to take people back to El Salvador to be deported. This needs to be stopped right now,”
In December 2016, about 20,000 Salvadorans were suddenly and unexpectedly deported by U.S. officials, after the Trump-appointed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Southern border region with Mexico abruptly stopped allowing most immigrants seeking asylum in the country to transit freely to the U.S. border with Canada. The deportees included nearly a thousand people who had been fleeing gang-related violence in their homeland. Many of the deportees had already been waiting for years at U.S. embassies and consulates in countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
There were three U.S. consulates in El Salvador and four in Honduras. The consulate in the capital of San Salvador, was already packed with more than 25,000 Salvadorans, most of whom were headed to the United States. So, the U.S. asked the consulates in El Salvador and Honduras to take in as many Salvadorans as they could fit in: They were given the option of sending them directly to the U.S.
A few months after the U.S. began asking the Consulates to accept the deportees, the Central American nation of Honduras had been experiencing a devastating outbreak of gang violence that was causing a surge in intermixture between gang-affected families and ordinary Salvadoran families.
On Dec. 18, 2017, a Salvadoran woman was killed and a Honduran teenager was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in the Central American nation of Honduras. According to police, a Honduran gang member drove his car up,