Survey Shows Main Cause of Honduran Emigration Is Economics, Not Violence

By Kausha Luna, February 9, 2016

According to a report by the Reflection, Research, and Communication Team (ERIC-SJ as it is known in Spanish), Hondurans primarily migrate for economic opportunities, not to flee violence.

The report by ERIC-SJ, a Jesuit-run research and social action center in Honduras, is based on a survey of public perceptions of the country's social, political, and economic situation, as well as the performance of the government of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. ERIC-SJ conducted the survey from November 25 to December 5, 2015, with a national sample of 1,571 valid questionnaires, which is representative of all persons over 18 who live in the country. The survey has a sampling error of +/- 2.5 percent and a 95 percent confidence level.

Regarding migration, the survey confirmed the economic crisis in Honduras as the main cause for migration. Of the respondents that had a family member who had migrated in the last four years, 77.6 percent did so due to lack of employment and a search for better opportunities. Meanwhile, 16.9 percent migrated due to violence and insecurity. In comparison, the 2014 ERIC-SJ survey showed that 82.5 percent migrated for the former causes and 11 percent migrated for the latter. So while violence and insecurity have grown in importance among causes for migration, they continue to lag far behind economic factors as the primary cause.

Homicide rates in Honduras have been decreasing since 2012.

However, the Obama administration's narrative insists that Central Americans are fleeing violence and as such should be welcomed into the United States with open arms as "refugees." This narrative ignores the economy as the primary push factor for migration, as well as the pull of incentives created by the Obama administration in its refusal to enforce immigration laws.

The 2015 survey also showed that, of those who were surveyed, 55.3 percent did not wish to emigrate or had not thought of doing so. The majority wants to stay home.