Making Contact

The Cost of Deportations

The Cost of Deportations looks at deportation through the lens of one Central American nation that sends migrants north— Guatemala. 

About two million Guatemalans live in the US. But, half of those here lack legal status, and tens of thousands of Guatemalans are deported back to their country each year.

Thus, the question arises… are the countries these migrants left prepared for an influx of returnees?

This week, journalist Maria Martin explores that and other questions— including whether some Guatemalans still plan to migrate north, even given the hardening of immigration policy in the US.


Carlos Lopez, Casa del Migrante Guatemala; Martin, Juan Sebastian, Rodolfo, and Hicer – Guatemalans who have migrated and been deported, or who have attempted to migrate to the US; Lisbeth Gramajo, anthropologist at Rafael Landivar University; Willie Barreno, chef and founder of Cafe Red Kat; Fredy Lopez, San Pedro Credit Cooperative; Don Julio, Q’anjobal Maya elder; Don Sebastian Gaspar, business owner; Father Mauro Verzeletti, director Casa del Migrante Guatemala and El Salvador;  Father Dionisio, pastor of San Pedro Catholic Church; Marvin Otzcoy, Guatemalan Fraternity of Northern Nevada.


Episode Producer & Reporter: Maria Martin

Making Contact Producer: Monica Lopez

Staff Producers: Anita Johnson, Monica Lopez, Salima Hamirani

Executive Director: Lisa Rudman

Audience Engagement Manager: Sabine Blaizin

Development Associate: Vera Tykulsker

Thank You’s and Credits: Reporting made possible by a grant from FIJ— the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Voice Overs by Miguel Estrada, Claude Marks, Jesús Hermosillo, Joel Ulloa, Max Ferrin, Glenn Ontiveros, Ruxandra Guidi, Jonathan Lawson, and Chris Stehlik.

Music Credits:

“Assobio”, Z Trigueiros

“Saez”, Z Trigueiros

“Phased”, Z Trigueiros

“Fater Lee”, Black Ant  (open)

“Rise”, Meydan (credits)

For More information:

Casa del Migrante – Guatemala

La Cafe Red Kat

‘Nothing for us here’: Deported Guatemalans plan to return to U.S.

U.S. embassy cables warned against expelling 300,000 immigrants. Trump officials did it anyway

‘Claudia was a good girl. Why did they kill her?’ From a Guatemalan village to death in Texas

San Juan Ostuncalco llora a Claudia Patricia Gómez

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