Two Gay Immigrants Left Everything For Safety In The US. Instead, They Were Sent To Guatemala.


Sitting in a jet streaming toward Guatemala, watching the landscape shift below, Pablo replayed the scenes that had led to this moment. He recalled the day he fled his home in El Salvador rather than face the danger he felt being a gay man. He considered the sacrifices he had made over the yearlong journey to the United States–Mexico border. Pablo, 23, had hoped to find safety and start a new life in the US. What he did not know when he was arrested after crossing the border into Texas in December was that he had placed himself on the front lines of an unprecedented effort by the Trump administration to dissuade immigrants from El Salvador and Honduras from seeking asylum in the US. The immigrants were told they could no longer gain protection in the US. They would have to settle in Guatemala, a country also racked by poverty, violence, and instability, whose own citizens made up a sizable portion of those arrested at the southern border last year.

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