The Honduran Vice Foreign Minister, Nelly Jerez, warned her compatriots that the entry into the United States of a caravan of more than “1,250 migrants”, who left his country this Wednesday will be “null”, and asked not to expose himself to the pandemic and the growing “xenophobia” in Guatemala and Mexico.
Jerez explained in an interview with Efe that the crisis due to the COVID-19 it has exacerbated xenophobia against these immigrants on their way to the United States, where “the possibility of them staying is nil, even with families or children.”
The pandemic a risk
The vice chancellor, who is visiting the United States, He recalled that the government of this country repatriated between October 2019 and last September more than 335,000 immigrants, including some 35,000 Hondurans, 40,000 Guatemalans and 200,000 Mexicans, among others.
Jerez explained that it is the first caravan during the COVID-19 pandemic that adds an even greater risk to which these migrants are already exposed, which he said, are subjected to extortion, human trafficking, kidnappings, sexual exploitation and even death.
The vice chancellor, who called on migrants to give up the tripHe recalled that only since last January 31,022 citizens of that country have been returned to Honduras, including about 12,000 from the United States and about 17,000 from Mexico.
The vice chancellor said that Honduran authorities will soon make a tour of northern Mexico, where they estimate there are many more Honduran migrants stranded who have not been able to enter the United States.
Jerez, which will open a consulate in Charlotte (North Carolina) this Saturday, stressed that it is a route of “pain, mourning and death” that since 2014 has left at least 555 missing.
He recalled that since 2018 they have been trained in Honduras at least eleven caravans, sponsored by “criminal groups made up of human traffickers, organized crime and unscrupulous politicians”, and that this would be the fourth that manages to leave the country.
The new caravan
One of the most massive caravans, which go out in search of greater opportunities, fleeing violence and seeking family reunification, it was the first of its kind that left in October 2018 with more than 4,000 people.
The new one departed last Wednesday night from San Pedro Sula, in northern Honduras, and advances at the height of the border with Guatemala, in El Corinto, said the official. Jerez explained to Efe that some 500 people have already managed to enter Guatemalan territory and recalled that Guatemala, as well as Honduras, is requesting proof of COVID-19 for anyone who wants to enter their territories.
He reiterated to these families that the risk is great and asked not to use the children as shields or as passports because the United States is not letting them in. On the other hand, Jerez denied versions that they are about 5,000 migrants.
As to whether he has had conversations with the US government about the caravan, he pointed out that they maintain diplomatic contacts and that in particular they are advocating so that some “42,000” Hondurans who are protected by the United States can “remain” in the United States. Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
The President of the USA, Donald Trump, has tried to eliminate this immigration relief, but has encountered setbacks in the courts that have managed to extend it until January 2021. Jeréz said that if its elimination is effective, up to 100,000 Hondurans would have to return to their country if they had their families in mind.