A Guatemalan man is being held at an ICE center in the Miami area after surviving the flight in landing gear

Five days ago, a 26-year-old Guatemalan man made National titles When he risked his life and limbs by covering up in the landing pad of an American Airlines flight from Guatemala City to Miami International Airport. a 25-second video posted on Only in Dade Instagram The page shows a visibly confused man in a jacket, jeans and black shoes sitting on the tarmac alongside airport workers. He was immediately arrested by customs and border patrol officers and taken to hospital.

the new era He confirmed that the man is now being held at the Broward Transitional Center operated by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Deerfield Beach. Nestor Iglesias, a spokesman for the ICE field office in Miami, said: via email that the Guatemalan man, who will not be named by the agency, “will be given access to all legal procedures available to him under United States laws.”

One user commented on the Only in Dade video, which has garnered more than 537,000 views on Instagram: “People would do anything for a better life. It deserves to stay.”

Another wrote, “My brother, let him stay. That deserves bc the curse.”

“Don’t deport this guy!” Another added.

It is unclear what circumstances led the man to risk his life by taking cover in the landing gear compartment – which is Often a fatal maneuverBut advocates for immigrants in South Florida explain that conditions in Guatemala are dire and worsening. While the man’s horrific escape story is unique, they say it’s not surprising Refugees from all over the world are seeking asylum on US soil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaJvgUpZtNI says Marianne Blanco, Assistant CEO of Guatemala Center – Maya in Lake Worth. “We have people coming for many reasons, a lot of them to escape gang violence in Guatemala, and there is a lot of poverty.”

according to 2021 Report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsNearly half of Guatemala’s population (49.7 percent) suffers from moderate to severe food insecurity. The report notes that Guatemala has the fourth highest prevalence of undernourishment in Latin America and the Caribbean, after Haiti, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The majority of Guatemalan immigrants in Florida reside in Palm Beach County, and Blanco says many of them are undocumented. The Washington Post I reported last summer that almost 80,000 Guatemalan Mayas of original descent Lived in Palm Beach County. Blanco says it’s hard to pinpoint the exact number because The limited number of US census workers in the county who speak Spanish and indigenous languages. She says that many Maya peoples were classified as “white” or “Hispanic” rather than “indigenous”.

Many Guatemalan Mayans immigrated to Florida and the United States in the 1980s after a wave of government genocide that killed more than 200,000, atrocities referred to as “The Silent Holocaust”. Blanco says violence and poverty still prevail in those communities today, and many Guatemalans risk the arduous journey north to seek asylum, even though they rarely obtain legal status in the United States.

“We’re not sure what this guy’s story is, but the fact that he did shows that he was desperate enough to travel this way,” she says. “I can assume he was persecuted back home.”

Neither Blanco nor members of the Florida Immigrant Coalition say they have been able to contact the man but intend to provide him with legal support and services.

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