Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández said his country expects deportations of illegal immigrants back to his country on a “massive scale.”
However, he also suggested that the United States allow illegal immigrant children from his nation to reunite with their family members in America.
Hernandez told Time on Wednesday that his nation is getting ready to repatriate Hondurans because he knows that “there are large quantities, more than usual,” who will be sent back.
“Yes, they have said they want to send them on a massive scale. We told them that number one, we have to respect the principle of giving priority to the child,” he said of his conversations with U.S. officials. “Two, in the case that a family has children that don’t have relatives in the United States, that they don’t deport them along with adults that have committed crimes there.”
He also implied that U.S. lawmakers should allow children from his country who have reunited with their parents to remain in the United States.
“I would like to ask congressmen and senators and those who make political decisions in the United States that they think first in the interest of the child, because the child as well being a human being, is more vulnerable than the adult,” he said. “But also they [children] go with the very human, very natural desire to be with their parents.”
Current U.S. law prevents illegal immigrant children from countries other than Mexico and Canada from being immediately deported. Since October of last year, there have been nearly 60,000 illegal immigrant children who have unlawfully entered the country.