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04/10/2020

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ICE Air has flown over 1,000 US citizens home amid COVID-19 pandemic

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), working with the U.S. Department of State, has flown home a total of 1,037 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) on the return leg of removal flights via ICE Air Operations. U.S. citizens and LPRs occupied the Space Available seats on flights to the United States from El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Nicaragua. On April 7, ICE returned 71 U.S. citizens and LPRs from El Salvador, bringing the total to 1,037 returned since March 22.

“The unprecedented global challenge resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic affected a great number of Americans abroad. Many Americans found themselves stranded outside of the United States with very limited options available to return,” said ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Matthew T. Albence. “As an agency devoted to the safety of the American public, it is an honor to be part of the solution. I am grateful for the men and women of ICE who continue to work closely with our partners to bring our citizens home.”

On the return leg of over a dozen flights to the United States, ICE facilitated the transportation of U.S. citizens and LPRs in accordance with the OMB Circular A-126 and the DHS MD 0020.1. 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 missions have started to expand to other countries outside of the Northern Triangle, to include Colombia and Nicaragua.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/10/2020