GUATEMALA CITY – The United States deported 21,062 Guatemalans during 2007, or 6,172 more than the previous year, the General Migration Agency said.
Of the total number of Guatemalans deported, 19,113 were men, 852 women and 1,097 children.
The last 126 deportees for this year arrived this week on two planes chartered by the U.S. government and were met by Guatemalan Foreign Ministry and International Organization for Migration, or IOM, personnel.
On average, according to the IOM, more than 200 Guatemalans leave home each day for the United States in search of better opportunities, but only 40 make it into that country.
Some 1.3 million Guatemalans are living in the United States, the majority of them illegally.
Despite the increase in deportations, remittances from Guatemalans living in the United States rose this year.
The Central Bank of Guatemala said remittances during the first 11 months of this year totaled $3.79 billion, or 17.51% more than during the same period last year.
In 2006, according to the bank, Guatemala received a record $3.61 billion in remittances, well above the $2.99 billion registered in 2005 and the $2.55 billion that flowed into the Central American country in 2004.
The Central Bank of Guatemala estimates that more than $4.2 billion in remittances will have been received by the end of 2007.