U.S President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that “millions” of undocumented migrants are set to be removed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) next week after they “illicitly found their way into the United States.”
“They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he tweeted.
Just what Trump meant by this wasn’t immediately clear on Monday night.
As The Hill noted, no major ICE operations have been announced for upcoming weeks.
And Guatemala hasn’t confirmed talks that the State Department has said are taking place in the Central American country.
WATCH: June 10 — Trump defends Mexico deal, promises further details
Trump’s assertion about Guatemala, however, drew derision from Human Rights First, who said it was “ludicrous” to suggest that the country could protect refugees.
“It is a country that refugees are fleeing. The U.S. State Department’s own human rights reports reveal that rape, femicide, violence against women, trafficking in persons, violent attacks against LGBTI persons, and gang-recruitment of displaced children are all serious problems in Guatemala,” said the statement from senior director Eleanor Acer.
Statistics provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed Guatemala as the top source of unaccompanied children, single adults and family unit apprehensions at America’s southwest border in the 2019 fiscal year.
Nearly 150,000 family unit apprehensions of people from Guatemala had happened up to May. Meanwhile, nearly 130,000 family unit apprehensions had originated in Honduras, and just over 35,000 in El Salvador.
Data provided by the Pew Center has shown that there were 10.5 million unauthorized immigrants in America in 2017, down from 10.7 million in 2016, and representing a drop of 14 per cent from the peak of 12.2 million in 2007.
The data also showed that unauthorized immigration from Central America has been growing.
The U.S. had 1.5 million unauthorized immigrants in 2007 and 1.9 million in 2017.
Unauthorized immigrants have also come to represent a lower share of the U.S. civilian workforce, having fallen by 625,000 between 2007 and 2017.
More than half of America’s population of unauthorized immigrants is concentrated in six states: Texas, California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.