Honduras: Next up for US decision on protected migrants

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — This week's news the Trump administration is ending Temporary Protected Status for 200,000 migrants from El Salvador is also rattling nerves in neighboring Honduras.

A decision on the fate of more than 50,000 Hondurans living in the United States under TPS is expected in July, and it could have severe social, economic and political consequences for the Central American nation.

Experts say that as in El Salvador, the return of tens of thousands of people – plus, potentially, an untold number of their U.S.-born children – threatens to exacerbate already-grave problems like high rates of murders and other crime, political instability, widespread poverty and income inequality.

"The exit of so many compatriots from the United States would be a social bomb that will immediately explode in Honduras," analyst Raul Pineda Alvarado told The Associated Press.

Perhaps most immediately, there would be a hit to remittances, which typically account for about 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product – though most of that is sent by Hondurans who would not be affected by cancellation of TPS.

Billions of dollars sent home each year help households feed and clothe children, buy a car, build a modest home and keep the lights on. Those expenditures then filter out into the broader economy.

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