The deportation of more than 100,000 Honduran immigrants in 2019 from Mexico and the US It does not seem to matter to many of his countrymen, who would be organizing a new caravan in search of better living conditions, despite the drastic migration measures of the two North American countries.
The Hondurans deported in 2019 totaled 108,827, mostly from the United States and Mexico, and others from Asia, Europe, Central America and South America.
The 2019 deportation, the highest recorded so far, reflects how difficult it is now for Honduran and other national immigrants to cross the territory of Mexico with the idea of reaching the United States. So far this year the deportees total 403.
The migratory agreements or asylum agreement between the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador signed in 2019, represent a rigorous filter for Central Americans and Mexicans, although the measures have not put an end to migration.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MIGRATION
The former president of the Central Bank of Honduras, Hugo Noé Pino, said in an interview with EFE in Tegucigalpa that migration is important for his country, despite “family disintegration”, and that it could well be “noted that much of the behavior of the Honduran economy is due to migration. “
“Family remittances represent about 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)” and “economic growth from the point of view of aggregate demand has been quite directly related to consumption, which is fueled by family remittances” , said Pino, who has also been the Honduran ambassador to the United States.
He added that many of the people who emigrate pay a high economic cost in their attempt to reach the US, “which means that they have some degree of savings with which they could start an entrepreneurial project in the country.
The former Honduran official believes that, although immigrants do not have a high academic level, they represent a decapitalization of national labor.
Although in 2019 the deported Hondurans hovered around 109,000, family remittances increased by more than 12% and totaled some $ 5.4 billion, according to official figures.
WITHOUT THE REMITTANCES, HONDURAS WOULD BE WORSE
Honduras has a population of 9.3 million inhabitants, of which more than 60 live between poverty and misery, which adds a high rate of unemployment and underemployment, violence, drug trafficking and corruption, among other scourges .
The Honduran former ambassador said that the country has an economically active population of around 4.5 million, and that a high percentage of them have “labor problems.”
“Without remittances, the situation in the country would be extremely complicated, in terms of economic growth I think one might well dare to point out that in some way the country would be growing between 1 and 1.5 percent less of GDP,” he added.
The Central American country has had an average economic growth of 3.7% in the last decade, but it also has a high demographic rate that ranges between 1.7 and 1.8%.
“If we did not have the remittances, we would probably be growing at 2.7%, which would mean that in per capita terms we would be growing very low. Then, remittances constitute one of the fundamental pillars, along with exports, the main support of the economy, “explained the former Honduran ambassador.
In addition, “for every dollar that goes into foreign investment in the country, they enter $ 4.5 in family remittances.”
NEOLIBERALISM PROMOTES IMMIGRATION
In the opinion of Hugo Noé Pino, the neoliberal policies implemented by initiating the 90s of the last century, resulted in an increase in income concentration and an exclusive economic growth pattern.
That implies that “the domestic market looks very poorly favored and export earnings accumulate in very few hands, which gradually led to” a large number of people found no way to enter the labor market. “
As an example, he cited that in recent years the engines of economic growth from the sector point of view, are financial, telecommunications, energy, commerce and in some ways tourism.
But these sectors are characterized because “they have very little absorption of labor. So, even with an average growth of 3.7%, a good part of the structural unemployment that has always existed in the country, was sharpening and people were seeing that they couldn’t support their families. “
Faced with this situation, the most affected Hondurans have been opting to “use migration as a mechanism to be able to aspire to better living standards or to flee from the violence that was increasing in the country,” he said.
In October 2018, more than 5,000 Hondurans surprised themselves and strangers with a caravan that left from San Pedro Sula, north of the Central American country, which was followed by other minor mobilizations in 2009.
This year it has begun to promote a new caravan that would be leaving from San Pedro Sula on January 15. The call, which is not accredited by any organization, is transcending social networks.
The immigrants seem to be determined to challenge the president of the United States, Donald Trump, of whom Pino said that “he has been building not only physical walls, but also completely additional barriers to those that already existed to migration.”