US Deports 3,100 Central Americans a Month
About 22,000 migrants from Honduras and El Salvador were deported from the United States in the past seven months, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson confirmed after a visit to Central America.
Secretary Johnson visited Honduras and El Salvador last week, where he met with senior officials and the presidents Juan Orlando Hernandez and Salvador Sanchez Ceren, respectively. In his statement to the media, Johnson reiterated his hard-line stance against irregular migration by people from Central America. “We must enforce U.S. immigration laws consistent with our enforcement priorities, and we will continue to do so. Accordingly, in both El Salvador and Honduras, we continue to send migrants who have been ordered deported home at a rate of around 6 flights a week each,” said Johnson from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Johnson made no mention of the economic and social conditions in Honduras and El Salvador that is prompting so many to brave the perilous journey through Mexico to the United States. Violence in Honduras has skyrocketed in the wake of the 2009 U.S.-backed military coup that ousted former President Manuel Zelaya. The coup was supported by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is now seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party for the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
Secretary Johnson instead focused on the violence experienced by migrants at the hands of human smuggling. He touted the new Central American Minors Program, which according to himself offers “an alternative, safe, and legal path to the United States.” According to Johnson, the U.S. has received over 7,000 applications but has approved a paltry 1,100 of them, dramatically outpacing the numbers of people being deported.