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Oct 26, 2018

FM Elrington Comments on ‘Caravan De Honduras’

Over four thousand migrants mostly from Honduras are in Mexico, en route to the United States. Aside from Honduras, the group includes men, women and children from El Salvador and Guatemala.  According to the Mexican government, seventeen hundred persons have abandoned the caravan and applied for asylum in Mexico and another five hundred Hondurans have asked to be repatriated. The U.S. president has threatened to deploy the military to block their entry into the United States. While it is considered a migration crisis, here in Belize where thousands of Central Americans have made their homes, there is a different perspective. Earlier this week, the Foreign Minister Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington said that migration is not a bad thing.


Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“It’s a very concerning and worrying issue, but it’s not one that I can say caught us by surprise because remember now, all of last year we have been listening to Aljazeera how people have been migrating inexorably to the United States. Also too from the time President Trump got elected, all he has been talking about is migration and putting a big wall along the southern border. So they have been seeing it and regarding it as a problem. There is a perception that migration is harmful and not helpful; that is not true. As a matter of fact, many migrants are the most skilful, most motivated people in their country; that’s why they get up and leave to go to a foreign country. And when you get them into your country, many times they do phenomenal work. For example, look at Belize; Belize took in forty thousand Salvadorans during the seventies and eighties. They are some of the most productive people in the country; we have more fruits and vegetables than we ever had before. Look at the Mennonites, they also came. Look at the other people that have come—whether it is the Indians, whether it is the Chinese, they are all very productive people. So they are not necessarily bad or harmful. Treated well, in a regulated manner, they can be a tremendous boom for any country. President Trump, he is not an internationalist; he tend to be very parochial and I don’t take his statements to much to heart. Administrations in the United States come and go and the policy change. I don’t think as a general rule, the people in the United States are mean spirited and really would want to do harm to the Central American countries or the northern triangle. The truth is that I would want to hazard a guess that most of the productive enterprises in these countries are owned by American citizens in any event. So any suggestion that they will be punished, I don’t think it’s going to be implemented personally, but I don’t know.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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