As Enforcement Tightens, Hondurans Find Alternative Destinations

By Kausha Luna, April 6, 2017

As enforcement tightens at the U.S. border and coyotes continue extortion tactics, Honduran migrants are looking to other countries, including Honduras, as final destinations.

Sally Valladares, coordinator of the Honduran Observatory of International Migration (OMIH), notes that many Hondurans may not take the risk of crossing the U.S. border, given the current political climate, and will instead stay in Mexico. However, Hondurans are also struggling to make it across Mexico's southern border. As of March, the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs registered the return of 12,566 Hondurans so far this year. Of those registered, 5,771 were deported from the United States and 6,787 from Mexico. Consequently, Valladares expects that Honduran migration to Costa Rica, Canada, and Spain may increase.

Honduran migrants may also be turning their eyes back home as it becomes more difficult to reach the United States. A Mexican newspaper article details the story of a Honduran family stripped of all their money and belongings and abandoned by a coyote at Mexico's northern border. Unable to reach the United States, the family travelled to southern Mexico, where they are preparing to return to Honduras. Per the article, the family plans to return home, but to a town more removed from violence. They will close their businesses, an electric company and a restaurant, with the intention to start a new life in a new town.

It remains to be seen if these patterns will further develop as the Trump administration moves forward with its immigration agenda, and if migrants from the other Northern Triangle countries (El Salvador and Guatemala) will follow suit.