The Wuhan coronavirus pandemic has U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) flying passengers both to and from Central America these days. In coordination with the U.S. State Department, ICE is removing Honduran and Salvadoran nationals to Central America while bringing U.S. citizens home on the flights back. On Friday, ICE returned 257 citizens to the U.S.
ICE removed Honduran nationals and Salvadoran nationals with final orders of removal from the United States to their home countries on March 27. On the return flights to the United States, ICE facilitated the transportation of U.S. citizens in accordance with the OMB Circular A-126 and the DHS MD 0020.1. In total, ICE brought home 130 US citizens from Honduras on two separate flights, and 127 US citizens from El Salvador.
ICE will continue to work with the State Department to facilitate the safe return of U.S. citizens on future removal flight returns from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. These return operations could also potentially expand to other countries outside of the Northern Triangle.
ICE previously announced the return of 64 U.S. citizens from Honduras on March 25th.
On March 25, ICE, working with @StateDept, brought home 64 U.S. citizens from Honduras amid the #COVID19 outbreak. Hear from some of the passengers on the flights. #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/LyzJJIlkKj— ICE (@ICEgov) March 27, 2020
In total, ICE has now brought 466 U.S. citizens back from Central America since March 22nd.