May 11, 2023 at 9:30 am
I’m Laura Dogu, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Honduras.
Thank you for joining me in this opportunity to speak about a vitally important topic: migration.
Much has been said about the changes coming in something called Title 42, a regulation of U.S. law that we used during the pandemic. This has caused much confusion.
We will continue to remove non-citizens if they try to enter the United States without permission. The change is just regarding the reason for removal; but without a doubt, the removal of non-citizens without documents will continue.
The borders of the United States are not open, and the end of Title 42 does not mean that you can cross the border without permission.
I thank all of you [journalists], who have supported us in spreading this important information.
Now, I want to talk a little more specifically about the three most important points that will impact Hondurans.
For migrants that they are already in the middle and northern Mexico will have access to mobile app CBP One:
This application is to make an appointment and introduce yourself before the US authorities at a port of entry at the border from United States; to request admission like a refugee.
The use of the CBPOne Application will allow safe, humane, and orderly processing of refugees.
I want to describe some of the legal pathways for Hondurans who want to immigrate.
In my first year of living in Honduras, I’ve seen that the ties [across borders] between the people of the United States and Honduras are very strong and solid.
These are ties between sisters and brothers, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren.
That is to say, our families.
One important point to share with the Hondurans [from this announcement], is the enlargement of the program of family reunification. But you can’t go to the border and ask for reunification from there.
I repeat: the border is not open to non-citizens, and they will be removed if they try to enter without permission.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has declared that they will create new permitting processes for family reunification, which will be available to citizens from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Colombia.
These processes, once finished, will allow the people whose petitions have been approved based on family reasons to enter with permission into the United States.
We will have more information about this program in the following weeks and months.
In addition, the US government will continue issuing temporary work visas to Hondurans.
Finally, for legal pathways to migration, the United States has committed to receiving thousands of refugees every month, coming from several countries, here in the [Western] hemisphere.
We will aim to double the number of refugees accepted by the United States.
Have you heard that the United States, with other countries, is going to open Regional Processing Centers (RPCs) for processing migrants?
This is a historic decision.
These centers will facilitate access to migrants for legal pathways to migration. The first centers will be installed in various countries, regionally.
With these regional centers, people will be able to obtain an interview with specialists in immigration, and if they qualify, be processed quickly to go to the United States. We will announce more information soon.
Finally, for today:
I want to reiterate that our objective is to promote the security, prosperity and democracy of Honduras.
In a country that is secure, prosperous and democratic, Hondurans would not need to migrate to the United States.
The United States does many things to benefit the Honduran people. Everything we do is to support Honduran families to live dignified lives in the country they love.
Don’t attempt the journey without documents.
Don’t trust the coyotes.
The border of the United States is not open and the changes to Title 42 will not change this.
The United States is engaged in enforcing our immigration laws, expanding legal pathways to migration, and support the security, prosperity and democracy of Honduras for the Honduran people.
Thank you for connecting today, and for supporting us to inform the Honduran people about these migration law changes.
Thank you so much and have a good afternoon.