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article imageHonduras vows to defend nationals in US

By AFP     Nov 10, 2016 in Politics

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez vowed Thursday to ensure Hondurans living in the United States -- many of them illegally -- are protected, following the election of Donald Trump on an anti-immigrant platform.

"We are going to fight to defend our people, as you would expect," Hernandez said in an interview with the private television network Televicentro.

Among his campaign promises, Trump said he would deport undocumented migrants in the United States, focusing on those with criminal records. He also said he would jail deported migrants who attempted to return.

The United States has an estimated 11 million undocumented migrants, the overwhelming majority from Latin America, especially Mexico and Central America.

There are around one million Hondurans in America, most of them there illegally. They send some $4 billion a year in remittances to their families in their native country -- accounting for 20 percent of Honduras' gross domestic product.

Guatemala's government on Wednesday likewise urged Trump to ensure the "protection" of its 1.5 million citizens in the US.

The Honduran president said he was not unduly "preoccupied" by Trump becoming US president, explaining that the US Congress and other institutions can limit executive power.

Hernandez said he also foresaw no changes to the Alliance for Prosperity plan, under which the United States seeks to reduce migration from troubled Central American states by providing $750 million in development aid and security.

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