The Human Impact of Deportation in Guatemala and North Carolina

The U.S. deports three to five planes full of Guatemalans four days a week, yet there are virtually no systematic studies of the reintegration of recent deportees. It is increasingly important to understand the implications of deportation for the migrants themselves, the communities from which they are taken and the communities to which they are forcibly returned. Since October 2019 we have collected data from around 1800 Guatemalan migrants as they arrive from the United States on daily deportation flights. We interview deportees first as they arrive at the airport, and then two more times one and between 3 and 6 months after their arrival. The resulting panel data allows us to understand the factors that impact key decisions such as where to relocate, whether to migrate one more time, and how to choose a smuggler (Coyote) to cross the border. Beyond that, we are also interested in knowing more about their job market prospects, and the impact deportation has had on their personal and financial wellbeing. By providing insight into the social experience of deportation on both sides of the U.S. border, this project aims to provide timely input into crucial political, policy and humanitarian issues.

Popular press:

Biden wants to halt deportations. Here’s what happens when migrants are sent back.” Monkey Cage.
New survey highlights the unique challenges that Guatemalan deportees face with economic integration back home.” Vox LACEA.
4 things the Biden administration should pay attention to with the border crisis.” Brookings Future Development Blog.
Guatemalan press here and here.