In reaction to the US-Honduras agreement that will send asylum-seekers at the US border to Honduras, Vicki Gass, Oxfam America Senior Policy Advisor for Central America and Mexico, made the following statement:
“The Trump administration’s latest migration deal with Honduras is a deplorable and inhumane attempt at a deterrence policy that will place people in needless danger without resolving the problems forcing them to flee. It is the second migration deal in less than a week, proving the Trump administration will stop at nothing in its unending quest to prevent vulnerable people from seeking safety in the US. With transnational agreements with all three Northern Triangle countries, this agreement basically ends asylum as we know it for people from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
Under the agreement, the US can send asylum seekers from the US border to Honduras, one of the most violent and corrupt countries in the world.
By forging a deal with the government of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, the Trump administration is turning a blind eye to corruption and proves US efforts to address corruption and impunity in the region are just hollow words. Just weeks ago, the US District Court of the Southern District of New York (SDNY) released an indictment alleging President Hernández and his brother were members of a drug-trafficking conspiracy to enhance their political power in Honduras. Similarly, on September 4, 2019, the SDNY announced charges against President Hernandez´ cousin and former high-ranking National Police officer for drug running.
As long as high-level corruption and impunity continue to exist in Honduras, the efforts of the United States to promote economic prosperity, strengthen governance, and improve security in Honduras will struggle to succeed and the flow of migrants from Honduras to the United States will continue. It is ludicrous to consider Honduras a safe place for asylum-seekers when the country is not even safe for its own citizens.
Seeking asylum in the US is a right, full stop. This administration is trying to end the US’ legal obligations to grant asylum by outsourcing procedures to other countries that are not safe. Rather than pursue racist and inhumane deterrence policies that risk peoples’ lives and do nothing to address the causes of forced migration from Central America, we urge the Trump administration to instead prioritize tackling the corruption, violence, and impunity forcing people to flee in the first place.”