44,000 Hondurans Searched for Work in 2011

The United States and Mexico deported 44,000 Hondurans in 2011, who had left Honduras in search of work to help their families, officials reported this weekend.

Returning Migrant Aid Center of Honduras Director, Valdette Willeman, told reporters that 22,832 were deported from the United States by air, while the rest were sent back from Mexico by land.

Of those deported from the U.S., 98 percent were men, Willeman said, adding that the total figure from that country was some 422 more than in 2010, when 22,410 were sent back. The last Hondurans deported from the United States this year were the 63 who arrived Friday on a plane chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which generally has three flights a week, according to Willeman. In 2010, the number deported from the United States and Mexico was around 46,000.

Human rights organizations estimate that some 100 Hondurans leave the country every day for the United States, though many never make it all the way through Mexico.

According to the Honduran foreign minister, slightly more than 1 million citizens from Honduras live in the United States, including legal residents and the undocumented, who together send remittances every year to their families of more than $2.3 billion.

A smaller number live in Mexico, Central America, Spain, Italy, and several other countries.

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