Currents News Staff
After a long journey north, immigrants making their way to Mexico are being returned by the busload back to Honduras.
Dozens of buses are entering Honduras each day carrying men, women and children whose hopes of reaching the U.S. were cut short in Mexico.
There they were stopped, and forced to come home.
“It’s really difficult,” one migrant said. “I can’t lie to you. I don’t recommend it. All the centers are full in the city where I was in Mexico. I was there and got deported.”
Tens of thousands are still desperately trying to enter the U.S..
In 2018, caravans of Central American migrants marching towards the U.S. border began drawing worldwide attention, including from the American president.
“We are a country that is under siege. A lot of people don’t like this word. We have a country that’s being invaded,” said President Donald Trump.
His administration’s hard-line approach to immigration has since intensified with renewed efforts to build a wall along the border and controversial policies separating families and putting minors into detention centers.
The administration’s approach to the immigration crisis also includes tighter restrictions on asylum applications and pressure on America’s southern neighbor to keep migrants from reaching the border.
“If Mexico does a great job, then you’re not going to have a lot of people coming up. If they don’t, then we have phase two. Phase two is very tough,” Trump said.
With a 45-day deadline, Mexico has appeared eager to comply with Trump’s demands by dramatically increasing deportations of Central Americans.
In Honduras alone, nearly 40 thousand have been returned from Mexico since the start of 2019. 14 thousand of those migrants are unaccompanied minors, according to the Honduran Consular and Migration Observatory.
Among those forced to return, some are warning others against attempting the same journey:
“In Mexico, they don’t want to give us shelter or anything. There’s no point of going there. There’s no water. They don’t want to give us food, nothing. It’s very difficult. I recommend people stay put,” said one person of their experience.
But many are undeterred, feeling they have little left to lose.
“The poverty here, that’s why we look for a better future for our families,” another migrant explained.
“We are fallen but not defeated. God willing we will try it again within a couple of days.”
As murder rates, gang violence and unemployment all soar in Honduras, the choice remains a difficult one for some in this country:
Stay, or leave with the chance you’ll have to return.