Central American immigration fueled by violations

The apparently inconsistent attitude of the Obama administration with regard to immigrants attempting to flee Central America has been called out by immigrant rights advocates, with many demanding an end to the raids on undocumented immigrants carried out by the Department of Homeland Security.

On Wednesday morning United Food and Commercial Workers International and AFL-CIO Executive Council member Esther Lopez noted in a press conference that one of the root causes of the current immigration crisis is the inadequate labor and human conditions in Honduras. Lopez claims to have met with the country’s Department of Labor, which admit that minimum wage laws – less than $1 – are routinely violated by 60 percent of employers in Honduras.

“We strongly believe that the inertia of our government to address some of these route causes such as the egregious human and labor violations going on in Honduras today have contributed to the crisis that is going on today,” Lopez said. “If our government does not play a constructive role to reinstate rule of law and eliminate rampant human and labor rights protections in Honduras, we are going to continue to have this debate year after year.”

The situation in Honduras − and in El Salvador and Guatemala − is a humanitarian crisis, according to Oscar Chacon, the executive director of Latino immigrant-led Alianza Americas, which promotes sustainable and inclusive policies for immigrant communities. Chacon believes the US government’s response to the crisis has not been appropriate and that people are being sent back to die as a result of the recent government raids.