Trump’s Heartless Honduras Policy, in 15 Numbers

By revoking Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the Trump administration is sending Honduran immigrants back to a nation in crisis.

Sasha Kramer

Hondurans protest May 12 in front of the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa, in response to the Trump administration's revocation of Temporary Protected Status for Honduran immigrants. (Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump admin­is­tra­tion has act­ed to ter­mi­nate Tem­po­rary Pro­tect­ed Sta­tus (TPS) for more than 300,000 peo­ple from six coun­tries. This means that sur­vivors of nat­ur­al dis­as­ter or human­i­tar­i­an crises are see­ing their lives crum­ble once again as they become unau­tho­rized res­i­dents of the Unit­ed States.

All evidence suggests that the country is still dangerous—and it’s partly the United States’ fault.

In ear­ly May, Trump can­celed TPS for Hon­duran sur­vivors of Hur­ri­cane Mitch, who found refuge in the U.S. some 20 years ago. This means they will soon be forced to return to their home countries.

The Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty is meant to con­sid­er the safe­ty of the coun­try that it is send­ing peo­ple back to. Accord­ing to the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, Hon­duras has recov­ered, so there is no rea­son to allow the Hon­durans to live in the U.S. any longer.

But all evi­dence sug­gests that the coun­try is still dan­ger­ous — and it’s part­ly the Unit­ed States’ fault.

The main­stream nar­ra­tive goes that Hon­durans come to the U.S. because their own coun­try is wrecked with gang vio­lence and pover­ty, but such a nar­ra­tive obfus­cates the Unit­ed States’ role in per­pet­u­at­ing that condition.

Begin­ning in the 1890s, banana-repub­lic impe­ri­al­ism fash­ioned the country’s sub­servient eco­nom­ic posi­tion. The 1970s saw the begin­ning of the war on drugs, and a drug lord deport­ed from the Unit­ed States helped finance a right-wing coup. The Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion played a vital role in estab­lish­ing the suc­cess of the mil­i­tary coup in 2009, which insured Juan Orlan­do Hernán­dez the pres­i­den­cy. Under Hernán­dez, Hon­duran soci­ety is high­ly mil­i­ta­rized. U.S. mil­i­tary aid to the coun­try funds the government’s polit­i­cal repres­sion and vio­lence, which has led to human rights vio­la­tions. Today, Hon­duras is one of the most dan­ger­ous coun­tries for LGBTQ peo­ple and polit­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal activists, and is rife with femicides.

Below is a sta­tis­ti­cal snap­shot of the Hon­duras that TPS recip­i­ents are being forced to return to.

Hon­duras by the Numbers

  • 86,000 Hon­duran immi­grants who lost legal U.S. res­i­den­cy when Pres­i­dent Trump rescind­ed their Tem­po­rary Pro­tect­ed Sta­tus on May 4
  • 53,500 U.S.-born chil­dren who must move to Hon­duras with their par­ents or be left behind
  • 60% Pover­ty rate in Honduras
  • 44 Homi­cides in Hon­duras per 100,000 inhab­i­tants, near­ly sev­en times the glob­al average
  • 2009 Year Juan Orlan­do Her­nan­dez seized the Hon­duran pres­i­den­cy in a U.S.- backed coup
  • 300 Peo­ple assas­si­nat­ed by Hon­duras secu­ri­ty forces from 2009 to 2012
  • 23 Pro­test­ers killed, along with 60 injured and 1,500 impris­oned, after Hernandez’s dis­put­ed 2017 reelection
  • 190,000 Hon­durans inter­nal­ly dis­placed by con­flict and vio­lence as of 2017
  • $115.6 mil­lion U.S. secu­ri­ty aid sent to Hon­duras from 2009 to 2018, accord­ing to the Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Monitor
  • $17.6 mil­lion in U.S. arms sales to Hon­duras from 2009 to 2016, accord­ing to the Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Monitor
  • 120+ envi­ron­men­tal activists mur­dered by state forces, secu­ri­ty guards or hired assas­sins from 2010 to 2017
  • 236 Vio­lent deaths of women between Jan­u­ary and Octo­ber 2017
  • 35 LGBTQ peo­ple killed between Jan­u­ary and Octo­ber 2017
Sasha Kramer has a degree in envi­ron­men­tal stud­ies and has been pub­lished by Oak­land Insti­tute. She is a win­ter 2018 In These Times edi­to­r­i­al intern.
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