More than five thousand Hondurans have been deported from the United States during the first quarter of 2017, thus exceeding the number deported during the same period in 2016.
Sister Isabel Orantes, who heads the Human Mobility agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, confirmed to the Fides News Service that the number of Honduran citizens repatriated from the United States this year is 30 percent higher than what was recorded in the first quarter of 2016. She said that the government of Honduras must do more to aid its citizens who are returning from the U.S. due to the renewed focus on border security and enforcement of immigration law. She said, quot;To those who have returned, better treatment must be given and if possible, opportunities for employment, since unemployment is a major cause of migration." The religious sister noted that the return to Honduras of its natives is attributable to President Donald Trump's immigration policies.
The Catholic Church is doing its part, having dedicated personnel to work at a recently inaugurated government facility in Tegucigalpa that is providing assistance especially to returning children, adolescents, and families. (UMAR - Unidad Municipal de Atención al Migrante Retornado). The first such facility opened in San Pedro Sula, on Honduras' Caribbean shore, which is considered the most violent city in the world. Other such centers are planned for the cities of Choloma, La Ceiba,and Tocoa, where returnees will be offered spiritual and psychological support, as well as health care and job training.
Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.