Opinion-Solve the root cause of Honduras immigration to the United States

"Do you want to reduce illegal immigration? Then support Honduras' true democracy and stop legalizing fraud!" is a sign held by protesters in front of the U.S. Embassy in Honduras in response to the country's 2017 election fraud. The United States demands reduced immigration from Central America; however, it does not recognize the role of its foreign policy in deteriorating the already fragile and dangerous situation in Central American countries. Most immigrants and asylum seekers who come to the United States come from the northern triangle of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. My country, Honduras, has the highest immigration rate among the three countries.

In the United States, national discussions on the inhuman and disturbing conditions of immigration detention centers continue. Even under COVID-19, the treatment of migrants and asylum seekers continues to deteriorate, in which case, even unaccompanied minors are still deported, and migrants in detention centres do not have access to appropriate medical care . The US-Mexico border has always been a hot spot for humanitarian crises, and this situation has continued to deteriorate due to the implementation of the "Migrant Protection Agreement" (MPP), also known as the "Keep in Mexico" policy. This is a US policy that forces immigrants and asylum seekers, mainly from the Northern Triangle, to wait indefinitely in Mexico for immigration proceedings in their asylum-seeking cases.

As long as the number of immigrants decreases, it will not happen because the current US foreign policy toward the North Triangle remains unchanged. The United States is providing funds to Honduras in particular to provide military and security funds to governments deeply involved in corruption and drug trafficking. The United States should realize that with the support of American taxpayers, Honduras has daily human rights violations by military personnel. The H.R. Honduran "Beta Caceres Human Rights Act" of 1945 called for the temporary suspension of military assistance funds provided by the United States in Honduras until the human rights situation was resolved and the offenders brought to justice. The bill is not a panacea for Honduras’ dilemma. However, if we really want to address the root causes of immigration and reduce the number of immigrants to the United States, then a good start must seriously consider and pass this bill.

Immigration is the main practice of Honduran President Juan. Orlando Hernandez (usually called JOH) consolidated his strength. In 2016, JOH illegally amended the Constitution to win the term of the second president. This led to large-scale protests, and the JOH government strongly tried to suppress the protests by using military power. According to a 2017 report from Global Witness, the government and multinational companies are working together to target human rights and environmental defenders, making the country extremely dangerous for defenders. The government has also become a narcotic country. Public officials at all levels are involved in the illegal drug trade, including the president’s brother, a former member of Congress, who is currently being held in New York. JOH himself was previously investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and involved “large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering related to the importation of cocaine into the United States.”

The current situation in Honduras has led to a drug trafficking and continued militarization into peaceful life and Human prosperity has created a hostile and dangerous environment. In addition, the current situation fuels corruption, breeds violence and crime, and threatens easily targeted, at-risk groups such as women, indigenous peoples and LGBTQ communities. Millions of Hondurans work in the informal economy without proper salary and benefits. Due to lack of resources, the health system is failing. These resources were previously stolen by KMT government officials to finance JOH's political campaign. Hondurans with small and medium-sized enterprises have to pay war taxes, assaults and robberies, which makes their livelihood extremely difficult. Therefore, more than 60% of the population lives in poverty.

During the current global pandemic, interest in unstable health systems and people working in the informal economy increased exponentially. At the same time, by cooperating with the government to privatize social services and natural resources, some elites in Honduras have become richer.

Nonetheless, the United States continues to provide "safe" assistance to the Honduran government for militarizing Afghanistan and reserving power for JOH. Although the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and civil society organizations in the United States and Honduras issued contrary statements and reports, the United States still recognizes Honduras’ observance of human rights. The current foreign policy of the United States continues to develop along the lines of its late 20th century century. Despite serious human rights violations, it still supports the right-wing government to prevent the so-called left-wing government from winning elections and gaining power. The first step in reducing immigration to the United States is to address root causes. For example, the 1945 Honduras Human Rights Act (Berta Caceres Human Rights in Hunduras Act) pursued severely corrupt governments. Otherwise, thousands of people will continue to flee desperately to Honduras in search of security, economic opportunity and peace.

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