Nearly every migrant the BBC interviewed in the caravan that left Honduras on Tuesday revealed that they were economic migrants fleeing poverty because they just did not want to “scratch by.”
The outlet’s Latin America editor “travelled to San Pedro Sula and nearby towns” to interview migrants as nearly 800 Honduran migrants started their journey to the United States on Tuesday.
Josue said though Honduras is “dangerous” because of gangs, “one tries to make it north, that’s our dream, because here even when you do have work, what you get paid is only just enough to eat.”
“There’s no way to earn enough to get a decent place to live,” he said. “There are four of us in my family and we all live in a wooden shack.”
Keilin said gangs were pressuring her to sell drugs but when she went to the U.S.-Mexico border with a previous caravan, lawyers reportedly told her that she “didn’t have a strong case for requesting asylum in the US.”
“My dad was killed by gang members 20 years ago, but the lawyers said I needed to show that I myself was under threat,” Keilin said, adding that she could not take pictures of gang members without endangering herself.
She then added that, “but there’s also the fact that you just can’t get work.”
“Some [employers] tell you you’re too young, others that you’re too old. Before I left, I’d been out of work for two years. I live with my 81-year-old granny and we’re living off the money an uncle of mine was giving us,” Keilin reportedly said.
Angie admitted to the BBC that “there are no job opportunities here.”
Oscar, a bricklayer, said he lost his leg in an accident two years ago and wants to come to the United States because he is not getting “support” and the prothesis that he was promised a year ago.
“I’m not getting any work because I only have one leg. I’m living off what my brothers who’re in [the US city of] Houston send me every now and then. So sometimes I have enough to eat and sometimes I don’t,” Oscar told the outlet. “I want to leave for the US to make a living and not just scratch by. I want to leave with a caravan because that way there’s more support on the way, people can help you. I’m asking God for strength to be able to make it on my crutches. I hope I don’t get left behind but even if I do, I will just keep going.”
Before the 2018 midterm elections, so many migrants in the previous caravan told establishment media outlets that they were fleeing for economic reasons that even programs like CBS Evening News had to point out: “Most tell us they are fleeing extreme poverty, but that’s not a condition for asylum or refugee status in the U.S.”