The massive migration of Hondurans and Central Americans toward the United States that has shaken societies in the region in recent weeks has put pressure on governments to find emergency solutions for the needs of its citizens.

A series of plans, projects, new laws and reforms to those that already exist has been announced, aimed at stimulating investment and, in turn, generating the employment that is fiercely demanded by the Hondurans who risk their lives to reach the U.S. The government’s effort to find immediate answers to the problem is appreciated. However, it is clearly not sufficient. What is lacking is a concrete, comprehensive policy that addresses the subject of migration: a policy in which, at the end of their sad journey, Hondurans are not seen merely as the senders of remittances, of payments that prop up the economy of the country that they were driven from through lack of opportunities required to improve their living conditions.

Every country shapes its migration policy around its own needs. For example, Canada, which has one of the lowest population densities in the world, has a policy geared toward attracting migrants who want to settle in its territory, in a well-organized and regulated manner. Other countries such as the United States have more restrictive policies, which is why the requirements of entry and residency are more demanding. Honduras doesn’t have a defined policy in this area, and urgently needs to establish one. The causes for why its population migrates are well known. It is there, displayed in the expressions of those citizens who walk alone, together, or with their families, on the path to the United States, despite being humiliated by those who stand in their way. State policies in migratory matters should be built around this. What is needed are policies and legislation that attack the causes of migration head on, but that at the same time guarantee free human transit as well as protection from the negative aspects of that international migration.