Guatemala blocked the U.S. from deporting asylum seekers to the country “as a precautionary measure” to stop the spread of the coronavirus, The Miami Herald reports. The Wednesday announcement from Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs comes one day after President Alejandro Giammattei said he would close the country’s borders for at least two weeks. The country reportedly has six confirmed cases of the virus. Given the border closure, it’s unclear if Immigration Customs Enforcement will still be deporting individuals. It's also reportedly possible that the U.S. could deport the immigrants to Mexico. ICE and the Department of Homeland Security have not yet commented on the matter.
About 1,000 Central American migrants have been sent to Guatemala from the U.S. since late last year under the Trump administration’s “safe third country” agreement, which allows the U.S. to deport individuals to Guatemala—where they are given the chance to apply for asylum.