Migrating is a right. It is a human right. All of our countries emerged from migration.
—  Manuel Zelaya, president of Honduras from 2006 to 2009. He was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup on June 28, 2009. Watch his interview in a Democracy Now! exclusive today.

Dina Mutate, 9 Year Old Honduran, Seeks Asylum After 1,900 Mile Trek to Chicago to Rejoin Her Family | NBC

A 9-year-old girl who walked nearly 2,000 miles, most of it alone, from her native Honduras to the United States, pleaded Thursday with a hearing officer in Chicago to let her stay in the U.S.

Dina Mutate is among the estimated 68,000 unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border last year. The girl traveled on foot, by bus, and at times by hitchhiking to join her mother and brother in Chicago and escape the gang-fueled U.S. sponsored violence in her native country [emphasis mine].

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Editor’s Note: Of course mainstream media isn’t situating this girl’s story within the greater context of U.S. imperialism, a key force creating the violent conditions which children like her are fleeing. Instead of letting her story become another trumpet for “Land of the free” propaganda, please educate yourselves with the fuller picture. Here are two places to start:

Obama helped create the immigration crisis in this country. His administration backed the coup in Honduras that’s led to widespread governmental destabilization and violence, to name just one place impacted. This is the same violence that so many Honduran families and children are fleeing only to be met with the violence of Border Patrol, as well as ruthless unaccountable vigilante organizations – the same violence that a court recently ruled was ‘constitutional’ up to and including murder. Who knows how many of my people have been and will be shot for sport crossing the border because of this mess of a country. I bet that’s an easy statistic to avoid too. And if they do make it safely into the U.S., this administration, more than all others combined, then meets those people with the violence of ripping families apart in detention center after detention center until deportation back to the U.S. sponsored oppression many of them sought to escape in the first place. So no Obama apologism here. Fuck that.

Educate yourself, don't be stupid.

Illegal immigrants cannot get welfare or food stamps it is not possible. 50 to 75 percent of all illegal working immigrants pay taxes that they do not benefit from. I am from Arizona and I have worked with guys from the other side as we say, they’re some of the best human beings I’ve come across and encountered in my life. This is when I was a carpenter in southern Arizona. Now I am a carpenter and Boston Massachusetts I work with illegal immigrants from Ireland. I’ve been to Mexico quite a few times living only 40 miles away, if you saw firsthand what I have seen growing up and as an adult in southern Arizona, you would know that what Donald Trump is saying and a lot of Republican assholes are saying is b*******. All of you who have been to Mexico have mainly been to tourist destinations, you don’t get to see what real life in Mexico looks like. To the people (Americans) praising El Chapo as a hero, he is responsible for hundreds if not thousands of murders. The drug cartels run that country, it’s a mess and if I lived there I’d be trying to get to the United States also.

When their mother reported to police being raped by multiple members of the street gang MS13,  retribution was sought against her sons, 14 year old Jorge and 16 year old Andreas. The two brothers fled the country for their lives, but like an increasing number of young Hondurans, they were captured by Mexican authorities before they could reach the United States where they had hoped to apply for asylum. Deported back to Honduras, we found the boys terrified and in hiding. The street gang their mother dared to defy has put a $2500 bounty on their heads, a small fortune here, payable to anyone who can find and kill them. As soon as the family is able to raise the money for a coyote, the boys will try once again to reach the United States. “There is no other choice”, they told us, “here we cannot goto school, we cannot go outside. We stay here we die.”

Image and caption by Stephen Bailey. Honduras, 2015.

Desde que abrí Tumblr he sido testigo de múltiples luchas sociales, por parte de países hermanos: La defensa por la educación de los hermanos chilenos y mexicanos, la disconformidad de hermanos brasileños, venezolanos; las protestas de hermanos guatemaltecos, salvadoreños y ecuatorianos. Mi país se llama Honduras, en el centro del continente americano. Nuestro gobierno que fue impuesto, ha asesinado a miles de hondureños. Hace más de un mes iniciaron las marchas cuyo símbolo es una antorcha ¿Ven esa luz brillando justo en medio de América? Es mi pueblo indignado, por los pacientes que murieron en el IHSS al darles pastillas de harina, cada mutilado, desaparecido, torturado es la flama. El resto de los que seguimos vivos, somos las Antorchas. Creí justo escribir esto aquí, somos una sola masa latinoamericana.

No, no basta rezar, hace falta muchas cosas para conseguir la paz.

Smack in the middle of spectacular rolling hills over the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras sits a vast sea of trash and waste scoured over daily by vultures, dogs and thousands of people. It’s called El Cremetorio, and a frightening number of those hunting for cardboard and plastic here are just kids, long since dropped out of school to help support their families full time.

If lucky they might collect $5 worth of recyclable garbage in 14 hour day, and from that they must pay a “war tax” to the local street gang, a fee for the privilege of doing business in the dump.  One 14 year old told us, “If you fail to pay today, you’ll be dead by tomorrow.”

Image and caption by Brent Renaud. Honduras, 2015.